By Alex Dupille
As you walked into the new Sam Carver Gymnasium, the sounds of the pep band filled your ears and the Western cheer team was entertaining the crowd.
On display for everyone in the audience to see was a six-foot long sign that read, “Carver Gymnasium.”
The sign on display was made from scraps taken out of the old Carver Gym floor, and the letters in the sign were from the former Carver sign.
On Friday Oct. 13, Western faculty, students and community members all assembled in the brand new state-of-the-art gym to witness the ribbon-cutting ceremony take place.
Former dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences LeAnn Martin opened the event with a speech expressing her feelings of finally getting to see this gym opened up after decades of waiting. Martin shared some light-hearted memories of the old Carver, versus the new Carver.
“This has been a day at least 25 years in the making, and many folks at Western, no doubt, thought this day would ever come,” President Sabah Randhawa said. “Carver truly is an all-purpose academic, athletic and community facility.”
When Director of Athletics Steve Card took the podium, he went into great depth about the excellence Western athletics has displayed this last year.
“We celebrated many successes on the field of play, including winning two team national championships in women’s soccer and women’s rowing.” Card said. “With Carver, we anticipate we will win many of those recruiting battles, and [Western] athletics will continue on this successful trajectory.”
Division II All-American pole vaulter Anna Paradee closed the ceremony by sharing her perspective on how Carver is not only going to change the lives of the athletes that train here, but also the students who are going to utilize the new classrooms and equipment.
“The new space is just amazing to be able to learn in, not to mention having the beautiful academic facilities,” Paradee said. “I went to a few of the volleyball games. It’s been awesome because now we can house more students. We can have that school spirit back that I feel we lost in the last few years.”
The renovated Carver has six gender-neutral bathrooms and new sustainability features, such as a green roof on the second floor and motion-sensor lighting.