A new “place of pride” brought about 400 people to a reception and tour of Paine College’s new academic and athletic complex Friday.
“This is the culmination of a lot of hopes and dreams and a lot of hard work,” said Silas Norman Jr., the chairman of Paine’s board of trustees.
The reception was one of several events planned to celebrate the opening of the Health Education Activities Learning Complex. A consecration service was held Friday morning at Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel. Today, there will be a ribbon-cutting at 11:30 a.m. before the basketball team’s 1 p.m. tipoff against Stillman College.
“This is a tremendous event not only for Paine College, but the entire CSRA,” athletic director Tim Duncan said. “Our new home is a place of pride.”
A little more than a year ago, Randall Carter Gymnasium on Druid Park Avenue was gutted. Only a few walls and supports remain. The new $8.6 million, 43,000-square-foot facility doubled the gym’s seating capacity to more than 2,100 and has classrooms, a laboratory, locker rooms and offices.
“We must use this facility for a variety of things,” Paine President George C. Bradley said.
The facility will be available for use by the public, he said.
According to Brandon Brown, the vice president of institutional affairs, there will be wellness seminars for the public and the weight room will be open to the public occasionally.
Bradley said the complex is one of many projects for Paine College over the next few years.
“This is one piece to a puzzle,” he said. “We have strategic plans and strategic goals.”