O’Connor, a popular spot for workouts, intramural games and practices, is being renovated to make the facility more user-friendly.
"Our biggest goals for renovating O’Connor were to make more use of the space and to allow better circulation between different departments," says Bob Sheeran, associate vice president for facility management. The two largest projects involve converting the front space into a new glass-paneled weight room so that it is visible from the entrance and making room for spinning and aerobics classes.
Students no longer have to walk through the locker rooms to reach the ball courts or the cardio equipment. A larger lobby gives direct access to all areas. Additional equipment, such as elliptical machines and treadmills, have also been added. The exterior landscaping is also being redone.
Down the street on Dana Avenue, alums now have a real alumni space, the Surkamp Family Welcome Center. Located directly inside the Alumni Center’s main entrance, this interactive lounge area and conference room is a home away from home for visiting alumni.
"The large front room will be set up like a living room," Sheeran says. "This will be a place for alumni to sit and relax." The "living room" is a lounge area outfitted with comfortable couches, chairs, computers, phone access and a large-screen plasma television. In a connected room, a large conference table seats 20, perfect for alumni meetings, seminars, workshops and visits.
The space is also housing photographs of Xavier's campus throughout the years so alumni can reminisce and still feel connected to the University.
Both renovation projects are running on time with O’Connor scheduled to re-open as the fall semester begins, and the Surkamp Family Welcome Center available for use by the end of August.