CMC seniors are first to preview Roberts Pavilion

Last Friday (April 8), the wait was finally over for seniors who queued up early for the chance to be the first CMC students as part of “Senior Preview Days” to tour the Roberts Pavilion ahead of its complete opening in August.

The doors of the LEED Gold-certified building opened at 10 a.m. and the first group of students was greeted in the lobby by President Hiram Chodosh just beneath a towering wall adorned with a jumble of letters, an interactive word map.

“We wanted to make sure that this wasn’t considered as just an exclusive athletic and fitness facility but that it also had a liberal arts ethos to it,” President Chodosh said. “So we came up with an idea — and the designers were fantastic about it — of a letter wall that underscored the values of the College.”

Linguists came up with analog words in the 10 most-spoken languages at CMC. The words, some in languages other than English are: community, leadership, integrity, empathy, responsibility, excellence, courage, creativity, honor, and passion.

President Chodosh said, to be sure, the Pavilion is the home of CMS athletics, “but it’s a facility intended for use by all students. It’s an events center not just for athletics. The whole campus will be utilizing it.”

Slideshow: View more pictures from the Roberts Pavilion Preview Days

Named in honor of CMC trustee and alumnus George R. Roberts ’66 P’93, the state-of-the-art, three-floor Pavilion will be the athletics center for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps intercollegiate, intramural and physical education programs. At 130,000 square feet, Roberts Pavilion is about three times larger than Ducey Gym, which it replaces.

One of the first things anyone notices upon entering the Pavilion, which was designed by the award-winning creative team at John Friedman/Alice Kimm Architects, is a giant wall quote from benefactor Roberts: “Whatever you do, go all in.” That sentiment certainly encapsulates the depth and variety of what the facility has to offer the campus community.

A two-story 10,000-square-foot fitness studio with more than 60 treadmills, cross-trainers, exercise bikes, climbers, rowers, weight machines and other cardio equipment is just a fraction of what the space uses. Large exercise rooms are available for yoga, aerobics, spin, dance, and other group classes, as well as a 4,500-square-foot dedicated weight room.

The south side of the Pavilion’s first floor, which will be home to CMS Sports Medicine, features two hydrotherapy pools, five trainer tables, and numerous therapy stations available to CMS athletes and CMC students. And there is much, much more.

Kari Linder ’16 and Hannah Bower ’16 were headed to one of the smaller workout areas to do some boxing. “There are things here that I didn’t even realize we could have in a college gym, like kickboxing,” Linder said. “I was content with working out in The Hub until I saw it here and now I’m never going to go back to The Hub again. It’s just amazing.”

Bower said her overall first impression of the Pavilion is that it is stunning. “I think that being a swimmer and looking up at this gym being built for the last two years [the pool lies just outside the Pavilion’s floor-to-ceiling north windows] has made me want to stay another year,” she said. “I’m not sure I have an extra $30,000 lying around but if I did, I would come back for this.”

Oliver Seifert ’16 was part of a group shooting hoops on the main arena basketball court. The three-story arena has game seating for 1,850 and will be the home of the CMS women’s volleyball and basketball teams and the men’s basketball team.

“I love these stands and having so much seating available,” Seifert said. “I love the balcony and the skybox. I’m excited because this facility means we might attract some great new athletes for the school. It will be good for all the athletic programs, definitely. The other smaller, gym is pretty mind-blowing too; all the different studios and weightlifting places. I wish I could stay here another year and use the gym.”

Sophie Chou ’16, who was one of the first students to tour the building, came back a couple of hours later to study in one of the second-floor common areas that features tables and a view out to “Green Beach.” (There is a tremendous amount of common space inside and outside the building.)

“This is my new favorite spot,” she said. (The entire facility enjoys Wi-Fi connectivity.) “I think it really combines a lot of the things that students want from a place like this — study spaces, communal spaces. And of course, a lot of students on campus love working out, and having a lot more space for that to happen, encourages more students to work out.

“The fact that it is right outside our dorm doors makes it much more convenient than the other smaller, temporary facilities that we have by The Hub,” she added. “I love that it has all these mini alcoves for those that might favor lighter workouts and who don’t want to work out with the whole football team; they can have a space for that as well.”

CMS Hall of Fame and team awards and trophies are on display in cases on the first and second floors. And in acknowledgement of its precursor, donor walls with the names of various contributors are made from wood panels that were once the bleachers in Ducey Gym.

As she was leaving the Pavilion after her boxing workout, Hannah Bower had something else to add about the new facility that will benefit future generations of CMC students. “Kari and I were talking and we agreed that if we had had the Pavilion when we were freshmen," she said, "we’d have been a lot fitter throughout college.”

Special Preview Days for all CMC students will occur on weekends through the end of April. The College will also invite Scripps and Harvey Mudd students to preview the facility on the weekend of April 16-17. Guided tours for CMC faculty and staff are Fridays at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m. throughout the month. Reservations are required and can be made via online form.