Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
January 10, 2002
U of G officially opens Gryphon Dome
The University of Guelph today officially celebrated the completion of its covered athletics facility, the Gryphon Dome, marking the occasion with speeches and athletic demonstrations of ultimate Frisbee, soccer, football and cheerleading.
The $2-million indoor athletics centre is unique in Canada for several reasons. It was financed by students following a referendum vote in 1998. In addition, the 55-foot-high metal structure was built by Guelph graduate Ben Hogervorst, president of Cover All Building Systems, and is covered with a special weather-resistant fabric that allows for year-round use.
The complex is half the size of a football field and includes two indoor soccer fields and a four-lane, 200-metre running track. It's estimated that more than 6,000 students use the dome each year for intramural sports activities. In addition, it provides indoor training space for varsity athletes. The facility is also open to the community and has been used for Alumni Weekend, special events and coaching clinics, Guelph Youth Soccer, and will be the site of this year's summer convocation.
"I am pleased to see the dome project come to fruition," said Laurie Halfpenny-Mitchell, chair of the Athletics Advisory Council, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. "It represents the joint labours of many in the university community and the commitment of students to better athletics facilities." Athletics director Dick Freeman added: "We believe that a high-quality university experience includes opportunities to participate in athletics, and the dome will ensure that our students have that opportunity. Students grow personally as well as intellectually at university, and athletics is an important part of that process."
The Gryphon Dome is part of a larger "building boom" that will continue to change the campus over the next several years. "We are building, expanding and upgrading facilities in order to create a high-quality environment in which our students, faculty and staff can study, teach, do research, work and live," said president Mordechai Rozanski. "It will also allow us to respond to the expanded enrolment we will experience over the next decade. The Gryphon Dome will stand as a lasting symbol of Guelph pride and spirit."
For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, 519-824-4120, Ext. 3338.