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Year in Review 2014: Southwestern Illinois

McKendree adds centers for wrestling, sports performance

Special to the Illinois Business Journal
    LEBANON — McKendree University continues to make an impact in the community with the addition of its new Wrestling Center and Sports Performance Center.  
p11 sports centerEquipment inside the new McKendree Sports Performance Center.    Making their debut in Lebanon Commons in the spring of 2014, through a collaboration and long-term lease agreement with Lebanon Commons developer Dean Oelze, both 7,500-square-foot facilities provide a dedicated training area for the McKendree men’s and women’s wrestling programs, while also answering the need for a larger and modern strength and conditioning facility for the Bearcats’ ever-expanding athletics program.
    “We have made a commitment to excellence, and these new facilities are a large step in the overall development of our programs,” said Chuck Brueggemann, McKendree University director of athletics.
    The Wrestling Center includes two full-size mats along with locker rooms for both the men’s and women’s nationally ranked wrestling teams as well as a bleacher area and offices. The McKendree Sports Performance Center is filled with lifting racks along with approximately 19,000 pounds of free weights and 2,400-square feet of artificial turf for use in sprints and sled drill.
    Material for the floor underneath the lifting racks is made from the recycled soles of athletic shoes. The facility also serves as the home of community-based strength and conditioning program in which groups and teams of all ages can engage in workouts tailored to meet their needs.  
    “Facilities alone don’t make great students or great athletes, but as we expand and modernize our campus we see tangible results of our efforts in attracting more and stronger students,” said Dr. James Dennis, McKendree University president.
    McKendree currently offers 27 intercollegiate sports, with cycling set to be added for the 2015-16 academic year.
    McKendree University was established in 1828 by pioneer Methodists. First called “Lebanon Seminary,” it is the oldest college in Illinois, and the oldest in the nation with continuous ties to the United Methodist Church. In July 2007 McKendree College officially became McKendree University.