Photo by Thecla Li/ THE CHIMES
Biola athletic facilities began a much-anticipated renovation after the commencement ceremonies in December due to Biola’s transition to NCAA DII. The weight room and surrounding coaching offices have since been closed, starting Jan. 13, 2020, limiting student access to fitness center amenities.
WEIGHT ROOM CLOSED
According to Associate Vice President of Facility and Auxiliary Operations Brian Phillips, the construction will fulfill requirements mandated by the NCAA for DII athletic facilities. Division II schools must have training facilities that meet size requirements based on the number of student athletes at the school.
“We started talking about these projects back in 2017,” Phillips said. “The plan has been geared toward really setting up athletics to be well served as an NCAA school.”
The gym improvements are part of a larger “campus refresh” initiative which also includes the renovation of Bardwell Hall that began last semester. Board-approved surpluses and university endowments are financing the construction. Phillips estimated the renovations to the weight room will conclude 90 days from the closure on Jan. 13.
After the completion of the north wing, renovations will begin on the south wing and will include new square footage near the track, private locker rooms and individual bathrooms. During construction, athletes and non-athletes will be sharing the fitness center.