BETHANY, W.Va. (Jan. 11) - Bethany College recently completed the installation of a new multi-purpose floor inside the Thomas Phillips Johnson Health & Recreation Center. Sandwen Arena will reopen to Bethany students, faculty, staff and the Bethany Community on Friday, January 12 in the morning.
"Renovating the floor in the Sandwen Arena has been a priority for a long time," said Bethany Director of Athletics Brian Rose. "We are thrilled to see this project come to fruition because it will benefit most importantly, our students, but the entire Bethany Community.
The floor inside Sandwen Arena in the Recreation Center facility houses three courts, which can be used for basketball, volleyball and tennis, among a myriad of other uses by the College community. Those courts are ringed by a three-lane track, which is used by the Bethany Community for walking, as well as practice by the Bethany College track and field programs. In addition to the track and field programs, many of the College's other athletic programs use the arena for practice or camps/clinics and the men's and women's tennis programs are able to play varsity matches in the facility in the event of inclement weather.
"The Johnson Recreation Center is truly a hub of activity for nearly 18 hours a day by all of our students," added Rose. "For them to have a better surface to play, practice and compete on is something we've wanted to provide for awhile."
The project was made possible in part to a generous grant supplied by the Mary Jane Brooks Charitable Trust out of Steubenville, Ohio. The project was an overlay of the new surface overtop the existing floor of nearly 30,000 square feet, which has been in place since the building opened in 1994. The three courts and much of the surrounding area was finished with a multi-purpose surface similar to the previous surface. The track, as well as three extra "sprint lanes" were finished with a Super X Indoor/Outdoor track surface to provide a softer surface for the community walkers, and the track teams and others using the track through the year.
Sandwen Arena is used year-round for a variety of activities by the College and Bethany Community. In addition to the athletic teams using it for practices and in some cases, varsity competitions, Bethany hosts Relay for Life in the arena annually, welcoming students, faculty, staff from the College, as well as Brooke County residents to help raise funds for cancer research. There are also academic classes held in the facility and the College will also hosts intramurals for the students. Other events include activities tied with the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference (OVAC) Rudy Mumley All-Star Football practice week, which is held at Bethany every year.
"The entire College also can't say "Thank You" enough to the Mary Jane Brooks Charitable Trust," said Rose. "We requested funding from the Trust in December, 2016, and they were as excited about this project as we were because of the amount of people it would impact with the College and the Bethany community. Without their generous support, providing a new floor would not have been possible at this time and Bethany College is extremely grateful to everyone with the Mary Jane Brooks Charitable Trust for their generosity and working with us throughout this project."