Roosevelt University Celebrates Completion of New Athletics Building

By Kelly Bauer on July 31, 2013 2:52pm

Lillian and Larry Goodman center Opens

SOUTH LOOP — Roosevelt University celebrated the completion of its 27,834-square-foot athletics building, the Lillian and Larry Goodman Center, with students and supporters Wednesday.

The $12 million field house, 501 S. Wabash Ave., houses a gymnasium, locker rooms, staff offices and more. At the ribbon cutting ceremony, university Athletics Director Michael Cassidy said the university had been building toward the center since he was hired in 2009.

"This is really kind of the culmination of ... years of work. When I came here there was nothing," Cassidy said.

The center means Roosevelt's athletics department, which started with Cassidy's hiring, had "arrived," he said. And though the building is geared toward Roosevelt's 180 or so student-athletes and 16 teams, Cassidy hopes all students will use it as a hub. The school's intramural and recreational teams will also use the center, which will be "home for campus events," said Associated Athletic Director John Jaramillo.

Larry Goodman, whose foundation donated about $3 million to the project, said he beleives "hundreds of thousands of people" will be positively affected by the facility.

"You couldn't get a bigger bang for this buck then you're getting out of this building," he said during a speech at the ceremony. "It will contribute so much."

Roosevelt University is a "vital part of the South Loop," Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd) said during a speech at the ceremony.

"The city needed what we have here," Goodman said.

Roosevelt's athletics department has already found some success: The women's basketball team, which will use the Lillian and Larry Goodman Center gymnasium, went 28-7 and won its conference championship.

The next challenge for Roosevelt athletics is creating an outdoor facility, Cassidy said. Though that may prove difficult in an urban setting like the South Loop, he has already started thinking about it.

"If you had asked me five years ago if we'd be at this ribbon cutting ceremony, I'd have said you were crazy," he said.

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