By SARA MARRON
The groundbreaking ceremony for the William M. Anderson Center took place on Thursday, Sept. 17 at Goolrick Auditorium.
The new facility will hold up to 2,000 spectators for athletic events, as well as up to 3,000 for other events such as the local job fair. The Dodd Auditorium currently has a seating capacity of 1,300.
The new facility will have the capacity to host the NCAA III regional basketball championships and will also serve as an alternative location for outdoor activities in the case of inclement weather conditions.
“The facilities will be used for dozens of other things, yet to be imagined,” Hample said.
Athletic Director Ed Hegmann described the anticipation of construction.
“It has been on the drawing board since 1989,” Hegmann said. “We told anyone that would listen to us that it would be a reality.”
The facility will have a red brick façade and white pillars like the rest of campus.
Following a basketball shoot-off competition among students and short speeches from Hample and Hegmann, the Board of Visitors donned hard hats and ceremoniously shoveled soil in front of the construction site.
The project was named for President Emeritus William M. Anderson Jr., who served 23 years as President of the University and helped to develop the intercollegiate varsity program.
Anderson was present as well, participating in the groundbreaking with a golden shovel of his own.
“Its wonderful, it really is a dream come true to realize the construction,” Anderson said. “This is really a model collegiate program and they deserve a fine facility, I am honored to have my name attached to it.”
Shovel in hand, the former president spoke of his commitment to the students’ success at Mary Washington.
“I hope the students enjoy it, that’s what its here for,” Anderson said.