Denison University announces the dedication of its renovated and expanded Mitchell Center, a centerpiece of the college's athletics and recreation facilities. The $38.5 million construction project is highlighted by two major areas, the Trumbull Aquatics Center and the Crown Fitness Center, as well as new classrooms for academic pursuits, gathering areas for social interaction, and a large-scale, digital touch-screen experience featuring the history of Denison sports. As with all new construction on the campus, the project has been conducted to meet the certification standards of the United States Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The Mitchell Center was dedicated at a ceremony that took place on Friday, April 19, in the spacious atrium area of the complex. The ceremony included members of the Mitchell family, Denison's Board of Trustees, President Dale Knobel, and faculty, students and staff of the college.
In his welcome message, Chair of the Board of Trustees Tom Hoaglin a member of the Denison class of 1971, recognized the family of Louis A. Mitchell, a member of the Denison class of 1957. “We are here to celebrate a space that will enrich the lives of Denison community members for years to come.” He said, “The Mitchell Center is named in honor of our late friend, fellow trustee and loyal alumnus Louis Mitchell. Without Lou's support and the support of the other dedicated donors, many of whom are with us today, this facility would not be possible.”
The expansive Trumbull Aquatics Center is home to a 50-meter Olympic competition course, diving well and a natatorium that seats 1,000 spectators. Donors Scott and Margy Trumbull were acknowledged for their dedication and support of athletics at the college. Scott, from the class of 1970 and his son Matt, from the class of 1999, are both members of the college's Athletics Hall of Fame. Several other members of extended Trumbull family graduated from Denison, some participating in varsity sports as undergraduates. Members of the Crown family were thanked for their gift making the Crown Fitness Center possible. Other donors were welcomed and recognized for their support of the project, including Dan Brickman, class of 1980; Mark Dalton, class of 1972; Jeremy Flug, class of 1983; Scott and Audri Humphrey, parents of Jackson Humphrey, class of 2014; Elizabeth Cooper Krushena, class of 1990; Jack McNaughten, class of 1975 and Rebecca McNaughten; Bill Mulligan, class of 1976; John and Connie Taylor, classes of 1957 and 1958; Frederick Waddell Sr. and Catherine, and their son, Frederick Jr., class of 2005 and Caroline Grant Waddell, also of the class of 2005.
Director of Athletics Nan Carney-DeBord, member of the class of 1980, remarked on the ways in which the Mitchell Center touches the lives of students, faculty and staff. She said that, “Almost 30 percent of Denison's students compete in varsity athletics, and an equal number participates in club and intramural sports. Denison's faculty and staff use the fitness and strength facilities, and join with students in a variety of fitness classes offered in this building.” Carney-DeBord added, “The use of the building extends to the Granville community as we are now able to allow the Granville High School swim team the opportunity to practice and compete in the Trumbull Aquatics Center.”
The Mitchell Center was designed by Hastings & Chivetta Architects of St. Louis and built Lincoln Construction Inc. of Columbus. While the natatorium is open to use, the final construction of the remainder of the facility is scheduled to be complete in August 2013.