SMC begins renovation of Zollar building

Published 11:44 am Monday, November 8, 2021

DOWAGIAC — Southwestern Michigan College’s renovation of the Charles O. Zollar Building on its Dowagiac campus for the full return of NJCAA intercollegiate athletics in fall 2022 is under way.

Pearson Construction workers are removing three resistance pools for that room’s conversion to a sports medicine training facility.

Major elements of the project being completed by next summer include constructing a second-floor suite of coaches’ offices and gathering area, with a glass wall overlooking the court, suitable for receptions, recruiting or donor events, and premium viewing experiences; replacing the original basketball hardwood christened on Dec. 1, 1970, with a new high-grade basketball and volleyball floor.

Workers will also be replacing the original bleachers with a new system that meets current Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and provides better comfort and accessibility for fans of all ages. A new video scoreboard and audio system will be installed, along with the installation of energy-efficient LED overhead lights.

Protective padding will be added at both ends of the court to prevent impact injuries, along with an officials’ room, family-friendly fan restrooms and the construction of new state-of-the-art men’s and women’s home locker rooms.

The existing men’s and women’s locker rooms will be reconfigured for visiting teams.

The Fitness Center remains open while several new offices are built in the prior laundry room.

Demolition of the north racquetball court, closest to the current locker rooms, is expected to start soon. The south racquetball court, closest to The Canyon rock climbing wall, stays usable until about Dec. 10.

The existing men’s locker room will remain open with access to the gymnasium only through the hallways, not directly from the locker room.

Existing men’s and women’s locker rooms will close Dec. 13 through Jan. 25. The women’s locker room may reopen before the men’s based on the scope of work planned, with much of the work to be completed over winter break.

The gym will remain open for use until Dec. 13. At that point, it will close until a projected reopening date of July 1, 2022.

Zollar Café, The Canyon, the Event Theatre, classrooms, and other areas of the Student Activity Center are currently available as usual.