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Kirby Sports Center Design Recognized By National Publication

Oct. 31, 2002

EASTON, Pa. ( - Athletic Business magazine recently announced Lafayette's Allan P. Kirby Sports Center as one of the top 10 facility renovations and additions in 2002.

The magazine is honoring the architecture firms Cannon Design and Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson and Abbott with a 2002 Facility Merit Award for their work on the design of the Kirby Sports Center at the publication's Facility of Merit Awards Dinner on Friday, Nov. 8 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Fla.

"The judges were very impressed with the wonderful transformation of a 30-year old structure," said Marvin Bynum, assistant editor of Athletic Business. "They were really impressed with the exterior and how well it blends the previous building with the new construction."

The $35 million Kirby Sports Center, which was dedicated on June 2, 2000, now houses a 6,600-square-foot fitness center and weight room, including 30 cardiovascular machines. It also includes Kamine Gymnasium, which features three 50-by-84-foot all-purpose courts, an elevated 1/10-mile jogging track, and Buck Courts, which include six courts for racquetball and squash. There is also a 35-foot climbing wall, an aerobics area, and several offices.

A three-story glass facade atrium overlooking Fisher Field links the new addition with the refurbished original field house.

The original field house, built in 1973, is home to several varsity sports teams. The interior was updated to include a new sports medicine area, new equipment room, new locker rooms and administrative offices. The lobby and Athletic trophy cases and Hall of Fame displays were completely modernized.

Major support for the sports center has been provided by the F.M. Kirby Foundation, which made a $32.5 million gift to Lafayette, the largest gift ever received by a college, university, or other non-profit organization in the Lehigh Valley.

The $32.5 million contribution, which Lafayette received in full, included $26.25 million for the sports complex and an additional $6.25 million in support of other objectives in the Lafayette Leadership Campaign.

The Lafayette Leadership Campaign, a six-year campaign with an original goal of $143 million, officially concluded Oct. 26, 2001 . Nearly $213 million was raised in the campaign, which is the largest fundraising effort in Lafayette's history and one of the most ambitious campaigns ever undertaken by an undergraduate institution of Lafayette's size.

The total cost of the Allan P. Kirby Sports Center was $35 million. That included $26.5 million in construction and renovation costs and $8.5 million in endowment for operation and maintenance of the facility.

Approximately 80 percent of Lafayette students participate in varsity, club, intramural, or other recreational sports. The intramural program includes some three dozen sports. There are 15 club sports.

The Kirby Foundation, headquartered in Morristown, N.J., is the family foundation of the Fred Morgan Kirby family, which has been prominent a prominent benefactor to Lafayette for nearly a century. Seven family members are alumni, four have served as trustees, and three received honorary doctorates from Lafayette.

Athletic Business will feature the 10 winning facilities, including the Kirby Sports Center, in its November issue.