The rumbles of heavy machinery can now be heard on the Thomas Aquinas College’s California Campus, where construction has begun on a new athletic center, made possible by a $15,000,000 grant from the Fritz B. Burns Foundation of Los Angeles. Located on the previous site of the campus’ outdoor basketball and tennis courts, just behind St. Junipero Serra Paul, the 17,000sf Athletic Center is designed to visually connect the upper and lower parts of campus.
From the exterior, its most distinctive feature will be a four story clock tower, loosely modeled after the one in Santa Barbra historic city hall. The bell tower will feature a climbing room that boasts two 32′ high scaling walls and a 12′ high bouldering wall. To the rear, or south, of the building will be the Athletic Center’s 6-lane, 25-yard waveless lap pool, as well as lighted outdoor tennis and basketball courts. New soccer and baseball fields, compete with bleacher seating will be visible just to the building’s west and, to the front, the arched vestibule will look on to a campus picnic area that will host All-College BBQ’s and other events. The inside will feature a gymnasium supported by striking 82′ glue-lam beams and equipped with beautiful hardwood floors – configured for basketball and volleyball – spectator seating, and an electronic score board. The College’s men and women will enjoy separate weight and workout rooms, which will connect to locker rooms and the swimming pool.