Paine College will host a series of events this weekend to commemorate the grand opening of the long awaited Health Education Activities Learning Complex.
Set to open Friday after one year of construction, the $8.6 million project will house a basketball court, locker rooms, a weight room, classrooms, a laboratory and a 2,100 seat arena among other amenities.
“The athletic department will be a major component in the building, but we really see wellness as a major point in involving people in the complex,” said Brandon Brown, Paine’s vice president of institutional advancement.
Brown said the 43,000 square foot facility will host various athletic events but also be an instrument for educating the community about healthy lifestyles and wellness.
The complex is built on the same site as the Randall A. Carter Gymnasium, which was constructed in 1952 and named for Bishop Randall A. Carter, a theologian of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and Paine graduate.
Architects from Vista Design Group preserved aspects of the old gym for historical value but made great improvements for the new complex, according to a news release.
The weekend of events will begin Friday morning with a consecration service at the campus chapel and continue that evening with a tour of the facility.
Officials will host a ribbon cutting Saturday morning before the first basketball game to be played that afternoon in the complex between the Paine Lions and the Stillman Tigers.
“This is an exciting time in the life of Paine College,” President George Bradley said in a statement. “The HEAL Complex will serve our faculty, staff, students, and will be accessible to the community.”