‘Transformative’ $5 million pledge boosts New England College athletic complex plans

$15 million sports facility scheduled to open in 2022

An anonymous $5 million pledge has jump-started New England College’s efforts to build a $15 million, 45,000-square-foot athletic complex on its Henniker campus.

NEC President Michele Perkins said the “transformative gift” had “been in the works for quite some time” as the college works toward its $12 million fundraising goal. She added that the pledge had “spurred other generous donors to consider additional five-, six- and seven-figure contributions.”

Construction is slated to begin in the spring of 2020 with its opening expected for the 2022-23 academic year.

The new complex will feature a 25,000-square-foot gymnasium with a regulation-size court for basketball, volleyball and wrestling. With seating for up to 1,300 spectators, the gym will allow NEC to host NCAA-sanctioned tournaments and competitions, college officials said.

Designed by the architect Scott Simpson, an NEC trustee who is contributing his services, the athletic complex – along with the John Lyons Center, which opened in 2016, and the Rosamond Page Putnam Center for the Performing Arts, which is slated to open in January 2020, will complete NEC’s campus master plan.

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