SOUTH BEND — The University of Notre Dame last weekend dedicated Rolfs Athletics Hall, the former Rolfs Sports Recreation Center that has been turned into a state-of-the-art practice facility for the Irish men’s and women’s basketball teams.
Work began in January 2018 to repurpose the recreation center after the opening of Smith Center for Recreational Sports in the new Duncan Student Center on the west side of Notre Dame Stadium.
The 77,000-square-foot Rolfs Athletics Hall includes video rooms, team rooms and locker rooms for both the men’s and women’s programs, as well as views into both practice gyms on the entry level. Also on the ground floor are locker areas for the coaching and support staffs, and auxiliary locker spaces available for basketball alumni, practice players and guests.
The lower level features nutrition space, a sports medicine facility with two in-ground (hot and cold) hydrotherapy tubs, a strength and conditioning center and two separate practice gyms, each with a full-sized replica of the court in Purcell Pavilion, and several side baskets for drills.
The upper level includes a shared reception area, office suites for each program, each with a kitchen and storage space, and two conference rooms suspended above the respective gym spaces. A spectator viewing area, renovated with trophy displays and space for entertainment functions, are also on the upper level.
The project was competed with gifts from many people, according to the university, including: a foundational gift from Karen and Kevin Keyes, plus lead gifts from Andrew and Kirsten Braccia, and from Ryan and Jen Sweeney. Other benefactors on the project include Jim and Dana Bernhard, Jimmy and Susan Dunne, Tom and Jeanne Hagerty, Jim Mooney, Jim and Darla Wainscott, and 334 former women’s and men’s basketball players.
Rolfs Sports Recreation Center opened in 1998 and served as the primary fitness facility for students, staff and faculty until the Smith Center opened in January.