March 6, 2019

Holy Cross begins demolition for new $30M recreation center

Image/Courtesy
The College of the Holy Cross plans to open a new $30 million recreation and wellness center off College Street to open by the fall of 2020.

The College of the Holy Cross has begun demolishing its field house to make way for a new $30-million recreation and wellness center to be named after a major donor.

The new facility will be called the Joanne Chouinard-Luth Recreation and Wellness Center, Holy Cross announced Wednesday.

Chouinard-Luth is the wife of John Luth, a 1974 Holy Cross graduate. The couple has donated $40 million, the largest in the college's history, with $25 million having already gone toward expansion of the Hart Center, now known as the Hart Center at the Luth Athletic Complex.

The couple recently added another $7.5 million to their gift to the college, bringing a total of $15 million to be devoted to building the new recreation and wellness center.

The new center, expected to be completed in the fall of 2020, will be nicknamed The Jo, Holy Cross said.

The 52,000-square-foot center will be home to Holy Cross' campus recreation and intramural sports, including sports courts, weight rooms, a golf simulator, rooms for yoga, cycling and fitness and a jogging track.

Photo/Grant Welker
Holy Cross has begun demolishing its field house, which dates to 1947 and once hosted a talk by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It will replace the Field House, which was built in 1947 as a war-surplus hangar in Rhode Island before being reassembled on campus, according to the college. The Field House hosted a speech by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1962.

Chouinard-Luth had a 30-year career in dentistry and public health and with her husband, she established a charitable foundation to promote awareness of nutrition. She is an alumna of Newton College of the Sacred Heart and the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.

The new center is the second major construction project on the horizon for Holy Cross.

The college has plans for a $92-million arts building with several performance spaces. The Center for Arts and Creativity is planned to serve as the creative hub of campus, with a new space for the Cantor Art Gallery, a 400-seat concert hall and theater, and a 200-seat studio theater.

Construction is slated to begin this spring.

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