Wilson College adapts athletic facilities for male students

Posted: Tuesday, July 15, 2014
by Jennifer Fitch
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Wilson College is exploring its options to adapt the campus’ field house to accommodate male athletes.

Historically a women’s school, Wilson College is preparing to open its undergraduate degree programs and dormitories to men this fall. A group of alumnae has asked the state education department to block that move.

The college is processing applications from male students.

Changes are coming to the Frank E. Gannett Memorial Field House to create men’s locker rooms, school spokeswoman Cathy Mentzer said.

The college is unsure whether the field house will be expanded for the locker rooms or if they can be added through renovations of existing space, Mentzer said.

One definite aspect of construction will be the incorporation of disabled-accessible bathrooms, she said.

The Frank E. Gannett Memorial Field House has a gymnasium, training room and staff offices.

On Monday, the Chambersburg Borough Council approved a final subdivision and land development plan for an addition to the field house along South Penn Hall Drive. The addition is listed on plans as being 1,500 square feet.

“We need to evaluate the cost to renovate versus new construction in light of what services (and) facilities will need to be given up as part of the renovations. Another consideration is the time to complete the renovations versus the new construction,” Brian Ecker, Wilson’s vice president for finance and administration, wrote in an email.

The college expects to spend $450,000 to $500,000 and complete the work late this fall, Ecker said.

Jennifer Fitch is a reporter for The Herald-Mail. She can be reached via email at jenniferf@herald-mail.com.