Milligan rededicates Steve Lacy Fieldhouse
Milligan College celebrated the rededication of Lacy Fieldhouse Tuesday morning during a special ceremony at the newly renovated facility. Administrators, faculty, students, athletes and coaches were on hand to kick off the upcoming fall semester and the beginning of the 2012-2013 athletic season.
Lacy Fieldhouse, which first opened in 1976, has undergone numerous renovations throughout the course of this summer. School officials said the project includes updates to both the interior and the exterior of the building.
Milligan President Dr. Bill Greer addressed the audience at Tuesday’s ceremony. He commented that the athletic facility has been the site of numerous victories for the college’s athletic teams. “Hundreds of student athletes have competed here, all representing Milligan College intercollegiate sports,” said Greer.
As part of the renovation process, Milligan commissioned Snyder Signs of Johnson City to create new graphics and signage for the exterior of the fieldhouse. The graphics include depictions of Milligan student-athletes as well as a 24-foot triangular tower at the main entrance of the building. A newly designed logo for Milligan Athletics was placed at the top of the tower.
Greer noted that a representation of the five NAIA “Champions of Character Core Values” also graces the outside of Lacy Fieldhouse. “Those core values are respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship,” he said.
The updates to the 36-year-old facility are not limited to the building’s exterior. Milligan approved a plan to repaint the interior walls and to install a new hardwood playing surface. Greer stated that the school worked in cooperation with Mullican Flooring of Johnson City to create the new floor. The surface was then installed by Sports Floors, Inc. of Memphis. “It truly was a statewide collaboration to make this renovation project happen,” Greer said.
When Lacy Fieldhouse was first opened in 1976, the facility featured an air-supported roof. A decade later, however, a conventional roof was installed on the building. Despite the fact that the original roof has not been in place for decades, Lacy Fieldhouse still had its original revolving doors at the entrance to the facility prior to the beginning of the renovation project. The revolving doors were necessary to maintain proper air pressure to keep the roof inflated. Along with the other renovations, Greer explained school officials believed the installation of traditional doors would benefit the overall appearance and aesthetics of the fieldhouse.
Lacy Fieldhouse is named in honor and memory of Milligan graduate, coach and administrator Steve Lacy. The standout football and basketball star graduated from the college in 1931. Lacy later returned to Milligan where he coached football, basketball, baseball and track. He is the only coach in the history of the Smokey Mountain Athletic Conference to earn championships in four different sports.
Lacy was also Dean and Vice-President of Milligan College from 1942 to 1947. He later served as a member of the Milligan Board, including 13 years as chairman.
Several members of Lacy’s family were in attendance at the rededication ceremony Tuesday morning. Three generations of the Lacy family took part in the event. Greer thanked the family for their attendance and their support of Milligan College.
Milligan student-athletes are also excited about the improvements to Lacy Fieldhouse. Corey Hendren, who is a small forward for the Milligan Basketball team, said he was impressed with the final outcome of the project. “The floor looks great. The exterior looks great. The renovations definitely make the gym look a whole lot better,” Hendren said.
With the start of the 2012-2013 basketball season just weeks away, Hendren said he believes the updates to Lacy Fieldhouse will give Milligan athletic teams an improved home-court advantage. He added, “When you enjoy playing somewhere, your performance is going to improve. Having a nice facility to call home certainly makes you proud to represent your school.”
MILLIGAN UNIVERSITY is a Christian liberal arts university in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The university offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs. To learn more about Milligan University, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.