More than a year has passed since the start of the construction of the Pan Athletic Center. It will hold new facilities for wrestling, dance, and swimming, according to the Andover Athletics website. As time progressed, onlookers saw the ever growing state of the building with an increasing appearance of completion, transforming from wooden foundations to a robust structure.
According to Paul Murphy ’84, the Case Memorial Cage and Smith Center, which were once where the Pan Athletic Center now stands, was demolished in the Fall of 2020, marking the beginning of the construction. Despite a few setbacks with the Covid-19 outbreak, the building has luckily proceeded more or less on schedule.
However, the challenges posed by the pandemic have still affected the construction process. Larry Muench, Director of Facilities, elaborated on the impact Covid-19 with behind the scenes insight.
“Covid-19 has been the main obstacle – it’s caused supply chain delays for materials as well as impacted several trade groups when the workers caught the virus. We were strict in mandating that all workers wear masks on the jobsite and we suspended all in-person meetings to minimize exposure,” wrote Muench in an email to The Phillipian.
Muench added, “Along with equipment and material delays, Covid-19 has caused price increases for many items. We carry funding in these projects just in case prices go up but a positive is we ordered many high cost items, such as structural steel, very early on and locked in lower prices accordingly.”
Overall, students have expressed anticipation and satisfaction with the new resources of the Pan Athletic Center. Andover Girls swimmer Emma Cheung ’23 looks forward to the new swimming pools, despite recognizing Borden’s significance to her.
“I cannot wait for the arrival of the Pan Athletic Center, especially as a swimmer. While Borden was the first pool I ever swam in at Andover, I’m excited about the new change. I think it’s especially fitting for the 50th anniversary of Andover girls [swimming] and [diving]. I hope the Pan Athletic Center will bring a new legacy to the swimming and diving programs,” said Cheung.
Currently, the main focus of construction is the swimming pools. Muench described the current situation of the Pan Athletic Center in regards to the progression of wall foundations.
“We’re focusing on the pool construction. Now that the outside walls have been put in place, we are installing drywall in various areas. The upper floor is leading the schedule and we plan to finish the building from the top down. Mechanical and electrical systems are being installed above the ceilings, and the façade is being constructed,” wrote Meunch in an email to The Phillipian.
Students are eager to see the new athletic center between the Borden Gym and Snyder Center, the two main sports facilities on campus. When asked about the deadline of the project, both Murphy and Meunch predicted it would be soon.
“I believe the construction will be finished by the early Fall Term this year,” said Murphy.
Muench continued, “We’re planning on completing the Pan Athletic Center late August and receive the Certificate of Occupancy in time for the start of [next year’s] fall term.”