The Pan Athletic Center will open its doors for the first time for a dedication ceremony on Friday November 11. The Athletic Department will gather and provide a tour for the Board of Trustees, exhibiting the new 25 million dollar structure and dedicating honors to those who made the project possible. The building will not be open for student use until later in November and will close shortly after the ceremony.
Paul Murphy ’84, Head Coach for Andover Girls Swimming & Diving, expressed that the opening is a long-awaited reward for the Swim Department. Murphy has been a student in swimming, swim coach, and monitor for the past 35 years, and oversaw the construction of the Pan Center. He hopes to make swimming more accessible for the entire Andover community and sees the new swimming and diving complex as a driving force for broader access.
“It’s going to be very ceremonial, I think they’re highly focused on the donors and the trustees, they will be here as well, and I expect it will just be a great event. I’m hoping that long-term, maybe short-term as well, for the swimming part of it, the pool will be open much more than it is now. If it’s not very open much, there’s no cadence to it. So if there’s some cadence of getting into swimming or just getting into a kick, there are a lot of ways to stay in shape. Lots of runners, particularly, go into the pool when they’re injured so they can run in the pool without the harshness of actual running. Swimming, as we know, is a lifelong sport,” said Murphy.
Similarly to Murphy, Ariana Zhao ’25, a member of the Girl’s Swimming & Diving team, is excited about the grand opening of the Pan Center and looks forward to swimming in the new pool. However, she expressed disappointment that few student representatives will be involved in the celebration of the Pan Center’s opening on Friday. While many are left in the dark about the confusing timeline of the Pan Center’s opening and use, she hopes that students could receive clearer updates.
“When I arrived on campus I was told that it hadn’t opened, and they didn’t tell the students a specific time or never really sent updates on when we could start using the Center. I wasn’t really given a lot of information about the opening, so I don’t really know a lot about it. I think to some degree, maybe not, I don’t think the entire school should go but I think at least captains of sports that are in the Pan Athletic Center, they should be able to attend,” said Zhao.