The Stoller Center at Pacific University has been the site for all things athletic over the years, housing classrooms, athletes, students, coaches, and practice facilities. However, the population of student athletes at Pacific is growing rapidly, recently reaching numbers as high as 700 students, a statistic that has tripled since 2000.
With this growing number of students, athletes and coaches, the Stoller Center seems to shrinking more and more each year, prompting many to question whether or not there are any set plans for the facility to be expanded upon. According to Athletic Director Ken Schumann, there have been existing plans to expand the facility for a while.
“If we were able to do it, we would expand the footprint for both exercise science and athletics,” Schumann said. “Both have grown quite extensively, particularly in the past 10-12 years. Exercise science has grown to be one of top two majors in the college of arts and sciences.”
The Stoller Center was first built in 1970 and was one of the largest small college athletics facilities in the Northwest at the time. In 2000, Pacific launched a $3 million project that added the 5,000-square feet to the weight room and fitness area, remodeled athletic offices and provided the gymnasium with a new wood floor.
In 2003, the lower level of the facility was enhanced with locker rooms, team rooms and more dressing space. The project also added a second weight room to the facility. With all the growth over the years, it has been an idea for the facility to be expanded but there is a need for the financial part of it to be worked out in order for any plans to start taking place.
“We have had donors who have been interested in this project,” Schumann said. “But, it is the type of project that needs a significant donor to step forward and put us in position where we are able to move forward with more of a concrete plan to expand the building.”
One of the current issues for students who use the Stoller Center is related to weight room access, which has become more crowded over the years. It is an issue that Schumann and other faculty members continue to hear about from students.
“It is something we are taking a good hard look at,” Schumann said. “There are times during the day when it is really crowded. We have grown so much and have had the same weight room and have not expanded it for 17 years now. It is pretty obvious it is smaller than what we would like to have for our students today and the number of students we serve.”
Schumann believes it is a top priority for Pacific to expand the Stoller Center and provide extra space in the weight room, classrooms for exercise science and to help serve the student body even better in terms of intramural and club sports. As of now, there are no concrete dates set or plans in place to expand the Stoller Center.