April 22, 2016

An eye-popping update for Alumni Hall, Slavin Center

Friar Development Center - aerial view
Friar Development Center – aerial view

The Ruane Friar Development Center will be the most exciting change to Alumni Hall since its construction in 1955 as a home for Friar basketball. And it will improve Slavin Center by seamlessly linking student life and athletics in a central campus location.

Anchoring the development center will be a long-awaited, two-court basketball practice facility. Its construction will free Mullaney Gym for exclusive use by the women’s basketball and volleyball teams, which previously shared space with the men’s basketball team. An additional training center for student-athletes, athletics offices, study space, and a dining room will be built, along with a new Friar Athletics Hall of Fame that will feature a statue honoring the memory and contributions of basketball coach legends Joe Mullaney ’65Hon. & ’98Hon. and Dave Gavitt ’89Hon.

“This gift from Mike and Liz Ruane will be essential for our student-athletes to have continued success on the national level,” said Robert G. Driscoll, Jr., associate vice president and director of athletics. “This construction project represents the culmination of investments over the last decade, allowing us to create state-of-the-art facilities for all our athletics teams and helping us to capture BIG EAST and national championships.”

As part of the project, “Friartown Main Street,” an indoor concourse topped with a translucent roof, will be built between Alumni Hall and Slavin Center. Those entering Slavin from the concourse will be greeted by an enlarged and improved Center for Career Education and Professional Development on one side and an expanded and renovated ’64 Hall, the largest meeting facility on campus, on the other.

The first phase of the 50,000-square-foot project, expected to be completed in late summer 2017, will cost nearly $30 million. The second phase, which will encompass the improvements to Slavin Center and is estimated to cost $7.5 million, will begin after that.

The architect is Perkins Eastman. One of that firm’s principals is Stephen Forneris ’90 & ’18P.

“We appreciate the generosity of Mike and Liz and all the Friar fans who have made this possible with their support,” said men’s head basketball coach Ed Cooley, who with his wife, Nurys, donated $500,000 to the academic portion of the center. “Having great facilities is imperative in helping the development and growth of our student-athletes.”

Friar Development Center interior
Friar Development Center – interior rendering