by Filip Kierzenka ‘19
St. Mark’s School, founded in 1865, prides itself on being one of the oldest boarding schools in the country. While being a school with a lengthy history, the Pride does not shy away from creating the most cutting edge facilities in the nation. Coming only four years after the opening of the STEM building, it seems fitting that the newest addition to the St. Mark’s campus, The Coolidge Center, bolsters our aging athletics facilities.
The T. Jefferson Coolidge Jr. '50 Athletic Performance and Wellness Center is a complete overhaul of the first floor of the Elkins Field House. Consisting of an entirely new gym with a turf track, a dedicated ERG room, and a refurbished equipment room, the new Coolidge Center will cultivate all levels of athletics at St. Mark’s. In addition, the old gym has been remodeled into the new Wiedergott Fitness Room. The renovation of the athletic facilities is belated in correspondence to the exceptional athletics program at St. Mark’s School. The new enhancement is a source of pride for not only the athletics department, but for the entire SM community.
The new athletics center yields controversy. Along with the new facilities came some new rules. To much of the student body’s dismay, in order to use the facilities there are a few stipulations. For example, the ban of sleeveless tees, headphones, non-water drinks, and hats. The prerequisite of a formal workout plan before using the facilities has certainly raised some eyebrows around campus. A student stated that it almost seemed as if they wanted to steer students away from using the new space, and that the rules made it unnecessarily difficult to go in and lift weights for general fitness. Considering that it is only the second week of school, it is still to be seen how these rules may change in the future. Regardless of the opinions regarding the rules, it must be said that the new Coolidge Center is a phenomenal addition to the St. Mark’s campus, and that it will be an invaluable asset to all of the athletics programs.