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Dedication ceremonies for Lafayette College’s $35 million Allan P. Kirby Sports Center were held Friday, June 2, during the annual Alumni Reunion.

The center gives Lafayette the finest athletic complex of any college of its size in the country. It includes a new, 110,000-square-foot intramural and recreational sports facility attached to the previously existing Kirby Field House. The field house itself has received a $2.5 million facelift and interior renovations.

The new portion of the center, featuring a distinctive atrium overlooking Fisher Field, includes the Kamine Gymnasium, which includes three 50-by-84-foot courts for basketball and other sports and an elevated 1/10-mile jogging track. The Buck Courts include six courts for racquet sports, two for squash and four that can be configured for squash or racquetball. A 6,600-square-foot fitness center and weight room includes a full strength-training circuit, spacious free-weight area, and more than 30 cardiovascular machines. There is also a 35-foot climbing wall, an aerobics area, and several offices.

Built in 1973, the original field house, which contains Ruef Natatorium, is home to several varsity sports teams. It has been enhanced to include a new sports medicine area and a new equipment room and renovated locker rooms and administrative offices. The lobby and Athletic Hall of Fame display have been completely modernized.

Major support for the sports center has been provided by the F.M. Kirby Foundation, which made a $32.5 million gift to Lafayette, the largest gift ever received by a college, university, or other non-profit organization in the Lehigh Valley.

The $32.5 million contribution, which Lafayette has received in full, includes $26.25 million for the sports complex and an additional $6.25 million in support of other objectives in the Lafayette Leadership Campaign.

The Lafayette Leadership Campaign, a six-year campaign with a goal of $165 million, will run through June 30, 2001. To date more than $155 million has been raised in the campaign, which is the largest fundraising effort in Lafayette’s history and one of the most ambitious campaigns ever undertaken by an undergraduate institution of Lafayette’s size.

The total cost of the Allan P. Kirby Sports Center is $35 million. This includes $26.5 million in construction and renovation costs and $8.5 million in endowment for operation and maintenance of the facility.

Approximately 75 percent of Lafayette students participate in varsity, club, intramural, or other recreational sports. The intramural program includes some three dozen sports. There are 15 club sports.

The Kirby foundation, headquartered in Morristown, N.J., is the family foundation of the Fred Morgan Kirby family, which has been prominent in the life of Lafayette for nearly a century. Seven family members are alumni, four have served as trustees, and three received honorary doctorates from Lafayette.

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