(L-R) are Jeff Schulman, director of athletics; Chuck Davis; Marna Davis; Tom Sullivan, UVM president; Leslie Sullivan; and Shane Jacobson, president and CEO of the UVM Foundation at a ceremonial groundbreaking for UVM’s new Multi-Purpose Center. Chuck and Marna Davis made a key gift to the project.
(Brian Jenkins photo)
Construction on the University of Vermont's long-awaited Multi-Purpose Center project is under way, University officials announced May 18 at a small, ceremonial groundbreaking.
The Department of Athletics and the UVM Foundation held the ceremony in front of Gutterson Fieldhouse to recognize some of the top donors to the project.
"With several of our highest-level donors to the project, Foundation volunteers, and Trustees in town this week, we thought it would be a great opportunity to celebrate the start of construction," said UVM Director of Athletics Jeff Schulman '89. "We're looking forward to another event later this summer that will be a community-wide celebration of the project's beginning and of the broad philanthropic support that it has and continues to receive."
The announcement brings to an end years of anticipation for what will be a transformative improvement to athletics, fitness, recreation and wellness spaces at UVM.
"We are thrilled to be breaking ground imminently on the Multi-Purpose Center," said UVM President Tom Sullivan. "These new and renovated facilities will inspire our student-athletes to greater competitive excellence and also will create welcoming environments for our fans and for the hundreds of students, faculty and staff members who will use them each day for wellness, health and recreation opportunities."
The Multi-Purpose Center project will bring substantial changes to the 55-year-old Patrick-Forbush-Gutterson Athletic Complex, located at 97 Spear Street in Burlington. Project highlights include the construction of the new Tarrant Center, which will be home to UVM's men's and women's basketball programs, as well as host a variety of academic, social, cultural and entertainment programming. There also will be a major renovation of historic Gutterson Fieldhouse, and the creation of a three-story shared space between that facility and the Tarrant Center. This part of the facility will feature spacious concourses with restrooms and concessions, simplified circulation, and a well-appointed Victory Club room with spectacular views into both Gutterson and the Tarrant Center.
Beyond the improvements for varsity athletes, teams and fans, the Multi-Purpose Center will become the hub for recreation, wellness and fitness for the entire UVM campus due to dramatic upgrades and a five-fold increase in the space dedicated for health, wellness and recreational use. Enhancements also will include study areas and lounges that will support the academic and social objectives of the Department of Athletics and the other University units that use the facility.
Remarkable Gift Paves Way for Groundbreaking
A $4 million gift from UVM alumnus Chuck Davis (Class of 1972) and his wife Marna allowed the UVM Foundation to meet — and exceed — the initial fundraising goals stipulated by the University of Vermont Board of Trustees. With the Davises' support secured, the Trustees gave their final endorsement for construction to commence. In recognition of their generosity, the Multi-Purpose Center's Recreation and Wellness Center will be named in honor of Chuck's mother, Phyllis "Phiddy" Davis (Class of 1945). In addition, the Victory Club room will be named the Davis Family Victory Club.
"Chuck and Marna have done more than provide an extraordinary gift that allows us to move ahead with the project," noted UVM Foundation President and CEO Shane Jacobson. "Their incredible generosity will surely inspire other alumni and fans to support our entire student body and UVM Athletics in the months and years ahead."
"The Davis family loves the University of Vermont. We all grew up in Burlington, and many of us went to UVM," said Chuck Davis. "Being a physical education major here and a participant in varsity sports, these facilities mean a great deal to me. Marna and I are excited that thousands of students will use the new Recreation and Wellness Center, and hope that a lot of healthy fun will be had there. UVM is a place that recognizes the importance of sound mind and body, and we look forward to the new facility being a significant added resource to UVM's developing health and wellness programs."
The Multi-Purpose Center project is being funded through a combination of private philanthropic gifts and other institutional sources. To date, the UVM Foundation and Department of Athletics have raised over $32 million in commitments for the project — more than has been raised for any capital project in UVM's history.
For more information, call 802/656-3910 or visit go.uvm.edu/itstime.