Kresge gymnasium is Michigan’s oldest active intercollegiate athletic facility. Built in 1925 after a campus fire back in 1922, it is now being upgraded with a new graphic system while still embracing its history.
“President Frandsen and I decided to invest money into a new graphic system that will honor the past, add a little bit of wild factor and give us a new way of displaying the success that teams have had playing in there,” said Matt Arend, athletic director.
Everything will be completed this upcoming Saturday, March 29. Plans to get this project underway started last fall, but with games being played throughout the winter season, Arend agreed to begin renovations in the spring.
The new improvements include a mural on the wall alongside the press box, new carpet in the lobby, banners for the championship teams, black and white photos and a new GoBrits.com sign underneath each scoreboard.
The new Kresge will be honoring two men’s basketball players, two women’s basketball players and two volleyball players.
Arend worked on this project with interim president Mike Frandsen and John Thompson, vice-president for marketing.
“Matt Arend and John Thompson approached me with an idea to give Kresge a new look and emphasize some of its history,” Frandsen said. “This seemed like a perfect blend of old and new.”
With the Kresge Krazies being revamped this past semester, the new Kresge will be something that the students and alumni can appreciate. With other schools in the conference having recently upgraded their basketball arenas, Arend thought of a cost-efficient way to make Kresge better without building a brand new facility.
“We are not going to build a new arena because evidence is there that once you get students in the building, it’s a great atmosphere,” Arend said. “I think Kresge needs to be freshened up and there are things within Kresge that we can do to make it better.”
The major change to Kresge will be on the back wall, where there is a new graphic design, vamping up the inside of the gymnasium.
These renovations are also going to help out the student-athletes on campus who play basketball or volleyball and will add a topic of conversation when recruiting high-school students.
“The renovations to Kresge really add a more modern look to it without taking away any of the history,” said Caitlin McClorey, Wixom senior. “I love how it looks, and I can’t wait to see it when it’s completely finished.”
This isn’t the first renovation that’s been made since the hiring of Matt Arend. In the past three years, Albion’s campus has seen a new turf field, lights and a new scoreboard and timing system for swimming. The fundraising for the outdoor complex for lacrosse and soccer is still underway.
It seems as though the athletic department at Albion has taken an interest into bettering the sports facilities on campus to compete with other schools in the MIAA.
Photo via @ACiPrez