by Dallas Huff
As the spring semester moves along, Juniata continues to enhance its campus with various upgrades. Juniata is making additions for next year including the brand new $3.5 million Winton Hill Athletic Complex. This complex will include a new turf soccer field, six tennis courts, a locker room and offices, a grandstand with enclosed press box, and lights for the soccer field and tennis courts.
Men’s soccer coach Dan Dubois is excited about the new facilities, “It’s going to create an atmosphere that’s more professional,” said Dubois. He also believes that it will have a positive impact on future recruiting.
“Any other reaction other than elation is unexpected,” Women’s soccer coach, Scott McKenzie said. “I jumped (when hearing the news of the new complex).” He also showed his gratitude towards President Troha and the Gibbel family.
Henry H. Gibbel ’57, president and chairman of Lititz Mutual Insurance Co., and his wife, Joanie, have donated $500,000 toward Juniata’s new turf soccer field and stadium. The stadium will be named Henry H. and Joanie R. Gibbel Stadium. Gibbel said that Juniata is in his blood. Along with him, his grandfather, father, mother, two brothers, son, and grandson have all graduated from Juniata. He is also the third generation in his family to serve on the board of trustees here at Juniata, all three Gibbels being named chairman of the board.
“The need is there,” said Gibbel. “If I’m going to make a major donation, I have to do it now.” He feels good about his gift to the college and what it will fulfill for the school. He said, “My heart is here. My heart is at Juniata.”
Gibbel has also received countless awards and honors for his great contributions throughout the years including the Juniata Alumni Service Award in 1992 and Juniata’s Church College Service Award in 2005.
Sports has always been a large part of Gibbel’s life. In his time here at Juniata, he served as manager for the football team for four years. He has also been inducted into the Juniata College Sports Hall of Fame for his efforts and commitment toward all Juniata sports. Soccer, in particular, is a big part of Gibbel’s life. Most of the Gibbel’s grandchildren have either played or are playing at some of the highest levels, which includes collegiate and professional soccer.
Although the campus as a whole is very excited to see the final product, the players and coaches that will go to work there every day are especially looking forward to it. “I am excited for the student athletes and, as a coach,” Coach McKenzie said. “I am excited for myself to be able to walk out on this gorgeous facility and say ‘this is where I go to work every day’. How can you be in a bad mood when you go to work at a place like that?”
Dubois said, “It will certainly keep the ball rolling- no pun intended.” The complex will certainly be an outstanding contribution to Juniata and its athletics as a whole. Everybody is excited for the completion of the new state of the art sports complex. It will help to enhance the campus as a whole
Construction of the Winton Hill Athletic Complex is set to begin in the spring of this year. Although there is no set completion date, the college will do their best to have at least the field and courts finished by fall of 2016.
The complex is going to be put in behind Nathan Hall, replacing the existing grass soccer field. The old tennis courts, currently beside Ellis, will be the new location for a $4.9 million Studio and Integrated Media Arts Building, scheduled to start construction this summer.
Categories: Volume 97 Issue 6 Sports