CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Coe College has announced the largest capital project in college history with a major athletic and recreation complex project and the renovation of Hickok Hall.
Coe College is embarking on the largest capital project in its history, one which will provide unparalleled benefits for future generations of students while creating pride among all Kohawks. Make Your Move – the Campaign for Eby and Hickok – includes $23 million in essential campus enhancements, including the athletic and recreation complex project as well as the renovation and expansion of Hickok Hall. The result will be vastly improved academic, recreational, wellness and competition facilities.
Athletic and Recreation Complex Project
The proposed project is designed to ensure that Coe will be able to serve the next several generations of Kohawks as well as Eby Fieldhouse served students of the mid-20th century. Health, wellness and active lifestyles are inherent in the campus community. More than 90 percent of Coe's 1,400 students participate in intramural sports, and nearly all Coe students regularly work out in the college's fitness center. In addition, Coe enrolls 450 varsity athletes and offers 21 intercollegiate sports.
The facility will not only meet current needs, but also align with the college's long-term strategic direction. Coe's plan is to leverage the existing facilities by tying together Eby Fieldhouse and Clark Racquet Center into a comprehensive, 200,000 square foot athletic and recreation complex. This will provide all of the amenities that many colleges have, but at less than one-half of the cost.
The $20 million project includes the following key components:
New Performance Arena
The proposed new performance arena and competition court will seat more than 2,000 spectators. It will have a modern configuration where visitors enter in an upper-level concourse. The performance arena will be located to the north of Eby, and it will be connected to a new east-facing façade.
Fitness Center and Bridge
A key feature of the project is a bridge over College Drive that will join the new Eby addition to the Clark Racquet Center, creating a new, comprehensive facility. This bridge—which will be mostly glass—will provide a stunning visual feature for the Coe community and visitors alike. The sky bridge will house much of the college's fitness center.
Wrestling Room and Façade
This façade will wrap around the southern and eastern faces of the natatorium and join the new performance arena and competition court with the fitness center and bridge, so that from College Drive the entire project will look like a cohesive whole and will align with existing campus architecture.
This area will feature all-new wrestling facilities. Even in the wrestling tradition-rich state of Iowa, Coe will be unique in foregrounding wrestling in this way.
All levels of Eby will be renovated as part of this project. The centerpiece will be the conversion of the current gymnasium and wrestling areas into a multi-purpose court for recreational sports and intercollegiate practices. The facility will include three basketball courts that can be separated by curtains or opened into one large facility for throwing, indoor soccer, baseball and softball practices, and countless other activities. Locker room, classroom space and athletic offices will also be expanded, coupled with new infrastructure such as HVAC, windows, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.
Clark Racquet Center
Clark Racquet Center will receive enhancements as well, including a new elevator and other improvements to integrate the facility with the entire athletic and recreation complex project.
Clark Field and Stadium
The project actually began last summer, with the completion of a new, state-of-the-art track and other enhancements at Clark Field. This included much-needed additional seating for Kohawk fans.
The new athletic and recreation complex will serve the entire Coe community by emphasizing a culture of health and wellness. Student-athletes will especially benefit from the enhanced facilities. Moreover, with the additional space provided by the new facility, Coe plans to increase wellness and athletic programming and access to recreational space for hundreds of children and youth from the Cedar Rapids community. Emphasis will be placed on serving those in the neighborhoods surrounding the campus.
While the work at Clark Field was completed during the summer, the construction on other aspects of the athletic and recreation complex project will begin next summer. To keep some of the indoor facilities open and operational at any given time, the project will be done in phases, with overall completion slated for the fall of 2017.
"The athletic and recreation complex project will enhance the Coe experience for each and every student over the course of the 21st century, propelling the college to the next level of overall excellence," said Coe President David McInally. "When completed, the new and renovated athletic facilities will rank among the best in the region."
The architectural firm selected by the college for the athletic and recreation complex project is Dewberry, a national architectural and engineering company. Coe is working with architects from the firm's office in Peoria, Illinois.
The plan to renovate and expand Hickok Hall
Hickok Hall is home to several academic departments, including English, foreign languages, gender studies, history, humanities, philosophy and religion, and political science. Coe's enrollment has grown by 30 percent over the past 15 years, creating many more course offerings. In response, Coe has added numerous faculty members and class sections during that period. The college is now at a point where classroom space and offices are at a premium. Renovating and building an addition on to Hickok will provide the college with the opportunity to add classroom space and faculty offices.
The $3 million Hickok project is of utmost importance to provide a first-rate educational environment for the academic programs housed in the building. The renovations and addition will include the following:
The new and renovated facility will be fully accessible for persons with disabilities. An elevator will be
installed in the building and new restrooms will be built to enhance accessibility.
The entire building will receive a facelift which includes new restrooms, new energy efficient windows, suspended ceilings, energy-efficient lighting, wall coverings to eliminate cinder block classrooms, floor coverings, classroom furnishings, and office furniture for the faculty and staff.
Additional office and classroom space
The proposed 5,000 square foot addition to the west side of the building will provide approximately nine faculty offices and one new classroom for students.
To get the project underway, new windows were installed in Hickok Hall over the summer. Work on the addition to the building will begin next spring, with the renovation to be done during the summer of 2016. The plan is to complete the project by the start of classes next fall.
Many public lectures and other events take place in Hickok Hall each year, including the Thursday Forum series. Once the renovation and addition are complete, more community events will take place in the facility, which will be more functional and welcoming for all.
"Hickok Hall will be transformed into a place where Coe's hallmarks—top-quality academics and close student-faculty relationships—can take place in modern, spacious, technology-enabled classrooms," said McInally. "It is our hope to make Hickok Hall a community center for conversations on the humanities, languages and culture—in a building that is accessible to all."
The architectural firm selected by the college for the Hickok Hall project is Select Structural Engineering, a regional architectural and engineering company. The college is working with architects from the firm's Cedar Rapids office.
Funding the project
In the silent phase of the campaign, more than $10 million in gifts and funding has been committed for the Make Your Move campaign. This includes a generous $3 million challenge grant from the Hall-Perrine Foundation of Cedar Rapids. By raising $6 million for Make Your Move – the Campaign for Eby and Hickok, the college can receive the entire award from the foundation. This challenge grant provides an excellent opportunity for Coe's supporters to make a contribution and leverage their gifts.
"Future generations of Coe students will significantly benefit from this exciting project, and the college is grateful for the financial support provided by its alumni and friends," said McInally. "A special thanks to the Hall-Perrine Foundation, which has been a stalwart supporter of Coe College for decades."
Coe College offers superb academics and exciting co-curricular activities in a thriving urban setting that promotes student growth and success. Established in 1851, Coe has a national reputation for academic excellence enhanced by a student-centered, highly supportive campus environment. Coe's vibrant Cedar Rapids location provides an abundance of internships for students and career opportunities for graduates.