Women's Intercollegiate Rowing Center Officially Opens

March 31, 2011
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

March 31, 2011

NORFOLK - Old Dominion University unveiled its Women's Intercollegiate Rowing Center to the public today at a grand opening ceremony in Norfolk's Lakewood Park, home of the new, state-of the-art facility.

The center, located in Norfolk's Lakewood Park on the Lafayette River, is a two-story, 13,000 square-foot facility that is home to ODU's newest women's athletic team, a sport added to the athletic curriculum in 2008.

The $2.3 million rowing center represents a joint partnership project between the city of Norfolk and the University. Designed by Clark-Nexsen Architecture and Engineering, and constructed by Mid Eastern Builders Inc., the project will also include a 167-foot launching pier, to be completed by midsummer.

"This facility is a prime illustration of how the city of Norfolk and ODU are continuing to enrich the quality of life for our students," said ODU President John R. Broderick. "The boathouse will definitely provide engaging opportunities and first-rate accommodations for the rowing team and its supporters."

The 13,000-square-foot, two-story facility features two heated and air-conditioned bays on the first floor, which provide storage space for eight eight-person shells, six fours, and 12 pair/doubles and singles. Also on the first floor is a locker room that can accommodate up to 60 student-athletes. Located on the second floor are a training area with 40 rowing machines and other workout equipment, coaches' offices and a study area and team lounge with Internet access.

"This is an outstanding facility that will allow our team to practice and train year-round, and grow into what we expect will be a highly competitive program in our athletic department," said C. Wood Selig, athletic director. "There are few rowing programs in the country that have this kind of facility."

Under the direction of interim head coach Dan Garbutt, the rowing team currently has 32 members, and will host its first regatta from the new facility at 8 a.m. Saturday against the University of Miami. Spectators can view the races from the Granby Street and Willow Wood bridges, or along Mayflower Avenue in the Colonial Place section of Norfolk. The squad will compete April 8-9 in the Knecht Cup in Cherry Hill, N.J.; April 15-16 against Bucknell and Colgate in Lewisburg, Pa.; April 23 at the Colonial Athletic Association championship in Fairfax, Va.; and May 12-14 at the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia.

"Lakewood Park is the ideal launch point for our type of crafts," said Garbutt. "The ability to have this access point, on municipal land, to store and launch university boats illustrates the close relationship that exists between the two parties. Without complete cooperation from both the city and the university, a project of this scope would not have been possible. It shows the unique link that rowing and other water sports have with their communities."