Bell Athletic Center to Undergo Extensive Facelift | Trinity University
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Bell Athletic Center to Undergo Extensive Facelift

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The project will include the addition of a multi-level fitness center, weight training facility, and cardio fitness area.

by Trinity Sports Information

San Antonio - Trinity University has announced that the William H. Bell Athletic Center, the centerpiece of Trinity University’s athletics and recreation programs, will undergo a $14.2 million renovation. The project is scheduled to begin in September 2015 with an anticipated completion date of August 2016.

The most dramatic change will be the addition of a multi-level fitness center, weight training facility, and cardio fitness area constructed near the current main entrance. Approximately 10,000 square feet will be added to the northeast corner of the Bell Center. The new addition will be more than twice the size of the current weight and cardio facilities. The new fitness center will provide state-of-the-art equipment and recreation and wellness activities for all Trinity students, faculty, and staff.

Other planned improvements include:

  • Conversion of five of the seven racquetball/squash courts into a 4,000 square-foot Olympic strength training room. The current weight room is only 2,500 square feet.
  • Expanded and upgraded locker rooms, athletic training facilities, and a new strength training room that will directly benefit Trinity student-athletes.  
  • Upgrades to mechanical and filtration systems in Hixon Natatorium, which mainly serves as the home of the Tiger swimming and diving teams.  
  • Renovations to Sams Gymnasium to include the addition of new bleachers, scoreboards, scoring tables, and locker rooms. Sams Gym serves as the main competition site for Trinity men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and volleyball.

“Our highly successful NCAA Division III program and a growing trend toward a more health- and wellness-conscience culture have increased demands for use of the facility,” said Bob King, director of Trinity Athletics. Last renovated 23 years ago thanks to the generosity of the Chapman Trusts, the Bell Center has seen tremendous growth in use by all Trinity students. Trinity’s student-athlete population has grown from 200 in 1992 to more than 525 today. Additionally, nearly 70 percent of the student body utilizes the facility for intramural and recreational activities. The enhanced and expanded Bell Center will better serve the needs of the Trinity community.

The initial construction will be staged in phases to ensure minimal impact of the interior use of the center during the renovation. Initially, construction activities will be focused on of the main exterior entry area. Renovation to other sections of the Bell Center’s interior portions will take place in subsequent phases. It is anticipated that the project will accommodate the needs of Tiger athletics teams during their seasons, so as not to interfere with practice and competition schedules.

Currently, the Bell Athletic Center includes Sams Gymnasium, Webster Sports Forum, Stieren Dance Studio, Hixon Natatorium, a weight room, an aerobic fitness center, racquetball courts, a squash court, athletic training room, classrooms, locker rooms, laundry and equipment rooms, and Department of Athletics offices.

Originally opened in 1963 as the Earl C. Sams Center, the Bell Center facility was dedicated in October 1992 and named for longtime Trinity Trustee William H. “Bill” Bell.

The Chapman Trusts have provided ongoing support for the Bell Center and have again generously pledged funding for a majority of the cost of the upcoming renovations. Additional fundraising to complete the full funding for the center’s renovation is currently ongoing.

Principal design of the Bell Athletic Center project was conducted by Marmon Mok Architecture of San Antonio.