Pre-Dedication Ceremony Scheduled for New Fitness Center

Hamilton College has scheduled a pre-dedication ceremony for its new fitness and dance center on Tuesday, July 25, in conjunction with a visit by the family for whom the new facility is being named.

The Charlean and Wayland Blood Fitness and Dance Center is scheduled to open officially on August 25, and will be dedicated formally during the college's Fallcoming Weekend in October. It is being named for the parents of David Blood, a member of the Class of 1981 and the third generation of the Blood family to attend Hamilton.

In addition to David, Wayland F. "Bill" Blood (for whom the facility is being named, along with his wife Charlean) was a member of the class of 1953, and his father, Wayland P. Blood, graduated from Hamilton in 1914. All three men were members of the varsity football team when they were students at Hamilton.

When completed just prior to the start of the 2006-07 academic year, the Charlean and Wayland Blood Fitness and Dance Center will house a dance studio, room for aerobic/cardio training, space for resistance and weight-training, a multipurpose exercise room and a three-story climbing wall.

Renovation and expansion of the building began nearly one year ago. Currently, the refurbishment of the building's stonework and replacement of the roof are in progress, and the skylight over the recently installed climbing wall is in place. Most of the work on the dance studio is finished, and the tunnel between the Fitness Center and the Alumni Gym is under construction. Equipment for the new center is scheduled to arrive later in August.

The state-of-the-art facility will triple the current space for fitness activities on a campus where approximately 75 percent of the student body -- and many members of the faculty and staff -- work out regularly.

In addition to members of the Blood family, President Joan Hinde Stewart, Board of Trustee Chairman Stuart L. Scott '61 and Alumni Trustee Gregory T. Hoogkamp '82 will participate in the pre-dedication ceremony, which will take place following a tour of the new facility and the unveiling of a bronze naming plaque at the front entrance of the new center.

Associate Director of the Physical Plant Bill Huggins will lead the tour, with assistance from Interim Director of Athletics and Professor of Physical Education Sue Viscomi and Racquet Sports Director Jamie King. The tour will also review progress on the Little Squash Center, which is under construction on the north side of the Margaret Bundy Scott Field House.

Named for Jeff Little, a member of the Class of 1971, the new squash center will feature 10 regulation-size squash courts, including two with exhibition gallery seating. The courts will benefit students who compete intercollegiately, intramurally or recreationally and will be among the finest facilities of its kind in the nation. Little, who serves as chairman of the Excelsior Capital Campaign, is also planning to attend the pre-dedication ceremony to honor the Blood family.

Both the Charlean and Wayland Blood Fitness and Dance Center and the Little Squash Center will be formally dedicated on Friday, Oct. 13.

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