A Bigger, Better Baker




By Danielle Strickland

One of the outcomes of booming academic and athletic programs at a leading institution of higher education is both a blessing and a great challenge: a need for more space … and lots of it. Davidson recently kicked off an ambitious initiative to bring to life a dream enhancement to Baker Sports Complex, one of the college’s most visible “front doors” to campus. Once completed, the facility will fulfill the wishes and needs of students, coaches, and student athletes—basketball players, dancers, and volleyball players, specifically—who cannot wait to see the effects of the new space on the programs they love so much.

“After 20 years, the Baker Sports Complex is bursting at the seams, and I’m pleased to see that we’re moving forward on the fundraising for this important project,” said Jim Murphy ’78, director of athletics. “Our sports and dance programs will be significantly enhanced by the new facility, and the student athlete experience will be richer. The timing is most appropriate as we will celebrate Bob McKillop’s 25th season next year. It’s an exciting time for Davidson Athletics.”

Students who will graduate before the facility opens its doors are even thrilled to see such attention being paid to the needs of their programs. De’Mon Brooks will graduate in 2014, but he is excited to watch future basketball players and coaches excel in the new space.

“The new facility will be a great addition to our program and to our institution as a whole,” he said. “It will provide the basketball program the space it needs to get better, and it will also be a great recruiting tool for our program. More students and more athletes will get the space and court time they need to be successful.”

Currently, the basketball and volleyball programs function with a single game and practice floor. Limited space results in staggered practices, particularly as the competition seasons overlap. Because of inconvenient practice times—and even the occasional off-campus practice when there is no better option—athletes miss dinner, study groups, and opportunities to participate in traditional student activities.

The new athletic facility will add practice courts for men’s basketball and women’s basketball and volleyball; locker rooms, team rooms, and film rooms for basketball; administrative space; a dance center with studios and office space; a classroom for health and wellness instruction; a new ticket office; a new game day main entrance; and an expanded Basil Boyd Training Room.

Hannah McMillan ’15 said lack of space limits what she’s able to accomplish as a dancer and choreographer. She often choreographs from her dorm room because the high demand for studio times makes it nearly impossible for her to get time when she needs it.

“The new studio space will enhance students’ creative processes by offering a place to choreograph and experiment with movement full out, and it will provide much-needed space for the many dance groups on campus to rehearse,” she said. “Dance is probably one of the fastest growing areas at Davidson, and the new space will give it room to expand and develop so that it can match the high standards Davidson upholds in all other areas of learning.”

To date, more than $4 million has been raised toward the Baker enhancement. To learn more about ways you can get involved, contact Annie Porges ’85, director of the Davidson Athletic Foundation, at anporges@davidson.edu or 704-894-2395.

Read more at the Athletic Center Expansion web site.


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