Chaminade Julienne's downtown footprint is growing a size larger as the school’s campus expands north to include a new student conditioning center scheduled to open this summer. The $1.1 million renovation project will result in CJ’s first new building in 25 years transforming a warehouse currently located on Eaker Street into an indoor physical activity center for students and athletes.
In addition to an expanded weight room, the 25,000 square foot building will house an outdoor sport training area floored with synthetic turf, an indoor multi-sport area suited for volleyball, basketball and tennis conditioning, and a wrestling venue.
“We expect that the center will be one of the best such facilities in our boys and girls athletic leagues, and will rival those in some small colleges,” said Mike Raiff, CJ athletic director. “Our coaches, students, gym teachers, and athletic trainers are very excited about the possibilities.”
“The addition of a student conditioning center is the most visible step we have made toward realizing our Campus Master Plan,” said Daniel J. Meixner, CJ president. “This is an important investment in our goal of creating a comprehensive downtown campus that will serve the needs of all of our students, attract new families to the CJ community, and improve, in a small way, the south end of downtown, which has been our home since 1886.”
In the last ten years, CJ has acquired six nearby parcels of land and, last fall, made several improvements including the opening of Blue and Green Field on the site of the former DP&L steam plant (adjacent to the new student conditioning center), and the closing of portions of Perry and Franklin Streets which had cut through campus. “We have been blessed with great support from our alumni, parents, and the Dayton community in this effort,” said Meixner, highlighting the gift of the steam plant from Dayton Power and Light in 2005 as one of the critical successes of the campus development effort.
The new center will replace the converted bus garage on Perry Street currently being used for student conditioning. That building is slated to be demolished for the extension of Blue and Green Field opening up possibilities for a soccer and football stadium in the future, according to Meixner.
Financing for the student conditioning center project was approved by the school’s Board of Trustees in November following a year of analysis of students’ needs; consideration of the financing arrangement; and efforts of many volunteers who helped the school’s leadership plan the project. The project will be funded initially by financial commitments from several alumni and current and former parents, and through the support of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame Committee and parent organization, Blue Green Club.
With financing approved in November, the school interviewed several architectural firms and chose Brown & Bills Architects as the design-build firm for the project. The firm delivered an initial design to administrators, coaches and Board members to review in December and plans to begin renovation work in February. The center’s doors are scheduled to open this summer.
“This can impact the health of all of our students, the performance of our athletes, and the competitiveness of our teams,” said Raiff. “More importantly, the expansion of our fields and facilities means that more students will remain on campus for after-school practices and will be arriving home sooner with more time for study and family activities.”