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Ring The Bell

The hot and cold therapy pools are nearly completed inside Newman Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun1 / 5
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A worker walks across the arena floor at Newman Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun4 / 5
University of Jamestown athletic director shows equipment in the locker room for the Jimmie football team. John M. Steiner / The Sun5 / 5

The bell at Newman Arena will ring after every Jimmie win.

The first ding could be for the building itself.

Fast progress is being made on the spacious 61,000-square-foot arena, which will begin hosting University of Jamestown sporting events in the fall.

"They did it right. That's what we wanted," UJ athletic director Sean Johnson said during a tour of the facility. "It's a phenomenal place. It's going to be a great atmosphere. We can't wait to get in here."

The arena project, estimated at around $16 million, features many standard amenities of such venues—two full basketball courts, three full volleyball courts and eight locker rooms. The football, both basketball, volleyball and both soccer teams will be housed in the arena.

The basketball and volleyball coaching offices will be relocated into the building.

The arena includes a walk-around concourse, which will allow for viewing from any angle. Maximum seating capacity is around 2,000, including bucket seats and bleachers.

"The concourse is beautiful," Johnson said. "People really like being able to walk around and still see the game."

The concourse will have areas honoring Jimmie athletics and university history.

There are many unique features, not the least of which is the bell, which is being manufactured in France.

The expansive laundry room, with ample washing and drying machines, is a big hit. It even comes with a nifty little laundry chute door.

"We spared no expense for Newman Arena," Johnson joked.

In the bowels is a feature all UJ athletes will benefit from—cold and hot therapy pools.

"Not too many NAIA schools have this," Johnson said of the pools, which are good-sized and built up on a platform of sorts. "This project affects every student athlete we have. It's just phenomenal."

There will be also easy access from building to building as a hallway allows for passage from the Foss Center to the Larson Center and Newman Arena without having to go outside.

"That will be really nice in the winter," Johnson said.

Near the front entrance of the building is a roomy area with attractive brick columns, which will house meetings, weddings and receptions. Johnson said they would like to use the space, and building in general, to attract new events to Jamestown.

"We're not looking to take away business from anybody else, we're hoping to create events that aren't already here," he said.

Located in quick proximity to Jamestown High School and Two Rivers Activity Center, also known as TRAC, the area could be a prime spot for more large-scale athletic events.

"There are a lot of possibilities out there," Johnson said. "We're really excited about what Newman Arena represents for the future of our university and Jimmie athletics."

Dave Selvig
Selvig has been a sports writer at The Sun since 1999 and sports editor since 2009.
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