By Jessica Pitts
More than 50 guests celebrated the future site of a sports and recreation center at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Oct. 19, leaving small Pomeroy Pride flags – white with Columbia blue – as reminders.
The activity was part of a ground blessing ceremony, led by SMWC President Dottie King, with a prayer and blessing given by Father Bernard LaMontagne, assistant professor of theology.
The ground blessing was an important part in beginning the process of building the sports and recreation center. The cost to construct the sports center is anticipated to be $11 million; the community has already raised approximately $6.5 million.
Duke Bennett, mayor of Terre Haute, participated in the celebration. “There is nothing more important than God to bless this ground,” he said.
Other speakers included board of trustee members Sue and Wayne Hamilton and Marcia and Jerry Schmidt. Jeanne Knoerle, S.P., former SMWC president and co-chancellor of the College, also participated in the ceremony.
The sports and recreation center will be 36,000 square feet, with a regulation sized basketball court seating 1,000 people and a practice gym for intramural sports. It will provide up-to-date sports facilities within the community at SMWC.
One group especially looking forward to the center is the basketball team, which currently travels to a gym in Clinton for practices and home games.
Students will also appreciate the recreation center just as much. They will be able to have a competitive game of volleyball, run around the track, or participate in activities. The center will be on the west edge of campus, behind Rooney Library, next to the guest house.