For those who have driven to the north side of Waubonsee Community College’s Sugar Grove Campus recently, it is hard not to notice the new Field House, with its two-story images of four former athletes. If you’re interested in seeing inside the building, join us at the official grand opening on Tuesday, March 10, between 2 and 4 p.m. You’ll get to enjoy some “game-day” refreshments while touring the building and learning how it will impact the Waubonsee student experience. Visit www.waubonsee.edu/fieldhouse to learn more and to RSVP.
The opening of the new Field House does indeed usher both the college and its athletic department into a new era. Waubonsee supports 13 athletic teams: men and women’s tennis, men and women’s cross country, men and women’s soccer, men and women’s basketball, golf, volleyball, baseball, softball and cheerleading. In all, we have more than 200 student-athletes each year.
Waubonsee athletes have a long history of success both on and off the field. A member of the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference, Waubonsee has won the Dave Rowlands All-Sports Trophy four of the past five years. This prestigious trophy is awarded to the college that earns the most points based on each team’s final standings. On the national scene, Waubonsee is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and has produced numerous nationally-ranked teams and All-American athletes, along with sending teams and individuals to the National Finals.
With the renovation of Erickson Hall and the opening of the new, connected Field House, Waubonsee students and athletes will be able to utilize a new three-lane running track, a Strength and Conditioning Center, a fitness/dance studio and the campus’ Total Fitness Center. Teams will enjoy updated locker rooms and fans will enjoy the new snack bar. Also, the Field House provides two new courts that can be used for basketball, volleyball and tennis, along with a turf area that provides soccer, baseball and softball teams a more realistic practice field and three batting cages.
These facilities have been designed to also help boost student-athletes’ academic success. Waubonsee’s Student/Athletes Taking Academic Responsibility (STAR) program provides a fall orientation, counseling, workshops and study hall sessions. Thanks to a new study hall room, student-athletes will have 50 computerized stations in which to study. Currently, almost half of Waubonsee’s athletes maintain a 3.0 or higher grade point average.
The new facility is not only an asset for Waubonsee’s athletic teams, but also for the larger college community. It will support the college’s credit and noncredit physical education courses, wellness instruction, and general recreation opportunities, including intramurals. Over my three decades at Waubonsee, I’ve had many proud moments, and when the new Field House opens on March 10, I will add it to my list. I’m excited to have been a part of the team that is turning this long-held dream of top-notch athletic facilities into a reality. Go Chiefs!
Dave Randall is Waubonsee’s Athletic Manager.