Ripon College recognized an opportunity to increase enrollment by investing in the Willmore Center, a facility that could be utilized by all students, staff and the community. Previously named the Storzer Center, the home of Redhawks athletics and recreation was a dated facility that was vastly undersized due to heavy use.
Built in the 1960s, the building not only showed its age in condition but also lacked many of the amenities students expect in today’s competitive collegiate market. A significant renovation and expansion to the existing building transformed the dated facility into the campus hub for health, wellness and athletics. It is also open to community members and various athletic events, such as high school track meets and summer camp programs. In its initial stages, the Willmore Center has already had a positive effect on enrollment, and the school is expecting this trend to continue in the years to come.
The new Willmore Center provides an open, inviting and active space, while offering wellness opportunities for each type of guest. The new facilities include academic, fitness and hangout spaces, modern offices for the athletic department, a renovated basketball and volleyball gymnasium, enhanced exercise and cardio studios, weights and functional training space, new locker rooms, and recruiting and club spaces. A new fieldhouse with an NCAA-regulation 200-meter track and four basketball/tennis courts anchor the design. The expanded wellness center, over twice the size of the previous structure, was purposefully designed to activate the entry path to showcase health and wellness to students daily.