Athletic complex to open two months earlier

An adjustment in the timetable of construction for the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex will allow the new building to open in August 2010, instead of October.

Opus Corporation, the construction company, moved the demolition date of nearby O’Shaughnessy Hall to the beginning of March instead of at the end of the school year in May, said Mark Vangsgard, vice president for business affairs and chief financial officer. Vangsgard also oversees construction of the new athletic center.

“We’ve accelerated the demolition of O’Shaughnessy to approximately March 1 next spring, which will result in the revised opening of the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex to now August 2010, rather than October 2010,” Vangsgard said.

The new athletic center will cost $52 million. The center will feature a new arena for the basketball and volleyball teams as well as a new aquatic center that includes an eight-lane pool and diving area. With a 200-meter track the center’s field house will be able to hold indoor track meets, which the old Coughlan Field House could not.

The St. Thomas Board of Trustees reviewed the construction timetable last week. Trustee Lee Anderson and his wife, Penny, donated $60 million to the project.