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Jumbo’s Big Top

“Boy, was it worth the wait,” says Athletics Director Bill Gehling, A74, AG79, A05P. “I’ve always been proud to be a Jumbo—now I’m even prouder still.”

The new Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness Center features a central plaza made possible by the Howe Family Foundation, which leads visitors into the heart of the new facilities, adjoining the existing Gantcher Center and Cousens Gymnasium.

The Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness Center

At the building’s center is the new Kraft Family Atrium. Of the new center, Trustee Dan Kraft, A87, says, “Athletics encourages personal development and the growth of students as leaders. It’s good to see sports and fitness even further integrated into the life of Tufts undergraduates.” Kraft is also a member of the Board of Advisors for Tufts Athletics.

Expanded fitness space with state-of-the-art equipment meets increased student demand. Student-athletes and coaches have access to new locker rooms, a film classroom for off-the-field instruction, and the new Mugar Sports Medicine Suite.

Multipurpose teaching and activity rooms provide space for aerobics, Pilates, dance, and physical education classes. Dedicated space will support the university’s Personalized Performance Program that many members of the Tufts community use to keep in shape. New offices for coaches and administrators are also included.

The striking brick, glass, and copper-clad building is a showcase for energy-efficient “green” technology. Building systems include high-efficiency plumbing fixtures, heat recovery, demand ventilation, high-performance glazing, solar-shading devices, automatic lighting controls, and natural day lighting.

Steve Tisch, A71, chairman of the New York Giants football team and an Academy Award–winning film producer, led the support of the facility with $13 million in gifts, including a $3 million challenge to inspire other alumni and friends to participate.

Stanmar Inc., of Wayland, Mass., working with architectural firms RGO Partnership (Newton, Mass.) and DiMella Shaffer (Boston), developed the facility design and constructed the project.

The new Nelson Gateway Garden, made possible by a gift from John Bello, A68, A13P, and Nancy Bello, J69, A13P, has been built across the street from the new center, helping to further beautify this new entrance to campus.

The fitness center opened to students, faculty, and staff in late August. A formal ribbon-cutting and opening celebration was held October 22.