Centennial Gymnasium

A new gymnasium was one of two projects chosen for the College Centennial expansion program. Ground-breaking took place on November 2, 1958 and the gym's first use was in conjunction with the Fall 1959 Billy Graham Crusade. The first basketball game in the new gym was a 90-60 win over SW Missouri College on December 5, 1959. It came into full use in 1960.

In 1981 an addition, Chrouser Fitness Center, was completed. In 2000 another addition was completed that became known as the Sports and Recreation Complex. As a part of this project Centennial Gymnasium was replaced by the King Arena replaced as the home of Wheaton College basketball, volleyball and wrestling. The arena is not a different building but a renovation, and re-orientation, of Centennial Gymnasium. King Arena now has seating on all four sides where Centennial Gymnasium only had two sides with seating, and one of the sides features chair-backed seats. The orientation of the floor in King Arena now runs east-to-west, while Centennial Gym was north-to-south. The renovation of the arena was funded in large part by Leroy King.

In 2000, Wheaton athletics moved into the new $15 million state-of-the-art Chrouser Sports Complex. The Chrouser Sports Complext features an 8,000 square foot weight room, three student recreational gyms, an elevated jogging track, a climbing wall, "smart" classrooms and conference rooms, and a new physiology lab.

Included in the complex are the new Eckert Recreation Center, the Lederhouse Natatorium, and the King Arena. King Arena replaced Centennial Gymnasium as the home of Wheaton College basketball, volleyball, and wrestling. The arena is not a different building, but a renovation of Centennial Gymnasium, funded in large part by Leroy King.

The 2,650-seat King Arena is equipped with four scoreboards, a sound system, eight basketball hoops, and ethernet connections at the scorer's table. It has seating on all four sides whereas Centennial Gymnasium only had two, and one side features chair-backed seats.

In addition to its usefulness for classes and athletics, the building, designed in the architectural style of the Anderson Commons dining hall and other buildings on campus, is well-suited for informal and formal gatherings
Comments