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he sounds of clanging hammers and elec-
tric drills familiar to those who passed
Marist’s recently completed Hancock Center
have faded away. However, the completion of
the center didn’t signal the end of construc-
tion on the Marist College campus.
The Marist Athletics Department broke
ground this past spring on a project that will
enhance the James J. McCann Recreation
Center with an 11,660-square-foot, two-story
addition. The estimated $8.5 million addi-
tion will provide new locker rooms and offce
space for the men’s and women’s basketball
teams, augment the experience for fans in
the McCann Field House, and provide more
convenient restrooms and lobby space. The
project has the same architect as the Hancock
Center, the frm of Robert A. M. Stern.
“It says a lot about this institution that
even in tough times, we’re growing,” Director
of Athletics Tim Murray says.
Much of the funding for the new addition
and renovation came from a substantial dona-
tion from the James J. McCann Charitable
Trust, which was established through the
generosity of local businessman and lifelong
Poughkeepsie resident James J. McCann. For
more than four decades, the McCann Trust
has benefted the Poughkeepsie area through
its support for educational, recreational, and
cultural activities. The McCann Trust has also
provided major support over the years for a
number of other signifcant campus projects
including the original McCann Center; the
Lowell Thomas Communications Center;
Gartland Athletic Commons; the McCann
Baseball Field; and the addition to the McCann
Center that opened in 1997.
“These are going to be the premier offces
and locker rooms in the league,” Murray says.
The relocation of the basketball offces will
also free offce space for other sports.
“It defnitely will help us with recruiting,”
Women’s Basketball Head Coach Brian Giorgis
says. “It will help in terms of watching flm
and editing flm. It gives us a place to do that
where we are not fghting for certain rooms
with other sports.”
In April, renovation of the lobby, rest-
rooms, and Field House commenced to better
accommodate crowds and, in the case of rest-
rooms, reduce long waits. The overhaul of the
Field House will create a “bowl” feel condu-
cive to loud noise and an exciting atmosphere.
“The fact that we’re changing the seats
to a bowl style is more modern and more up
to date,” men’s basketball point guard Devin
Price says. “It will bring more energy to the
Retractable chair-back seats replacing
bleachers on the east and west sides of the
basketball court will reduce the amount of
available seats. But more bleachers will then
be added to the north and south end zones
to regain that capacity.
The retractable chair-back seating will
offer more hand rails and aisle space to meet
current building regulations. “We always
The McCann Center Gets a Makeover
want to make sure people have a safe and
comfortable experience when they come to
our games,” Murray says.
While some schools of Marist’s stature
have larger arenas, there’s a fundamen-
tal reason why the capacity of the McCann
Field House will remain at 3,200 even with
the addition of the chair-backs. “We want to
maintain our great collegiate atmosphere night
in and night out,” Murray says. “We have an
outstanding band and dance team, outstand-
ing cheerleaders, and great support from the
students, the Red Fox Club, and the commu-
nity. At our games, everyone in the room is
part of the action.”
Marist has drawn national attention for its
fan support. The NCAA chose Marist as the
overall winner in the 2010-11 NCAA Division
I “Pack the House” Challenge, beating 177
participating institutions.
Murray hopes the project will be complete
when students return to Poughkeepsie in
the fall. “It’s going to be a really exciting
on-campus arena and a tough place to play.”
—Jim Urso ’11 and Philip Terrigno ’12
The renovation to the seating areas in the McCann Center Field House will create a “bowl”
feel conducive to a loud and exciting collegiate atmosphere.
The project will provide new locker rooms
for the men’s and women’s basketball teams.
An artist’s rendering shows the reception
area in the new McCann Center addition.