An alumnus of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, is donating $32.5 million to the school to help pay for expansion of its athletic facilities and conversion of Holy Cross Field House into a modern recreation center.
The gift from John Luth, a 1974 graduate of Holy Cross and CEO and chairman of Seabury Group, an investment company, and his wife, Joanne Chouinard-Luth, is the largest in the school’s history.
With this donation, Holy Cross has raised $52 million of the $87 million needed to carry out the renovation and expansion of the Hart Center, the school’s athletic facility. If fundraising goals are met, the college may be able to begin construction on the project in 2016.
Holy Cross says $7.5 million of the Luth donation is earmarked for converting the field house, which has served the campus since 1946, into a state-of-the-art fitness and recreation facility.
Postwar federal regulations did not allow the construction of a gymnasium on campus, so Holy Cross officials acquired the building for the field house 69 years ago for $1 from Camp Endicott, a U.S. Navy installation in Rhode Island.
The college plans to overhaul the facility and create a recreation complex that features basketball courts, exercise studios, weight training rooms, shower and locker space, and spaces for a wide assortment of health, wellness and fitness programming.
The Hart Center opened in 1975. Plans for the Hart Center include a year-round indoor practice field for all field sports, and an auxiliary gymnasium to provide more space for basketball and volleyball practice and competition. Holy Cross also will expand sports medicine and strength and conditioning areas and equipment to serve 750 student-athletes. The plans call for locker rooms, team meeting rooms, and office space for all teams.