OMAHA, Neb. – Creighton University President the Rev. John P. Schlegel, S.J., today announced that a new fitness, health and recreation center to be built on Webster Street between 17th Street and Florence Boulevard will be named for Creighton Director of Athletics Bruce Rasmussen.
The Rasmussen Center is the second phase of the Ryan Center project. The first phase is the nearly completed Ryan Center and D.J. Sokol Arena. The Rasmussen Center was made possible in part by a generous gift from Ruth and Bill Scott and a $12 million dollar anonymous gift that was designated for both phases of the project.
“The Scotts are long-time supporters and friends of Creighton University. They believe that comprehensive social, recreational and health opportunities are keys to a college student’s success and campus experience,” said Schlegel. “Their generous donations have also provided scholarships for students who need financial assistance to pursue higher education at Creighton.”
Rasmussen, a respected coach and athletic director has been with Creighton for nearly 30 years, the last 15 as athletic director. During his tenure, Creighton’s athletic teams have risen to national prominence both on and off the field. Since Rasmussen became athletic director, Creighton has won 19 regular-season and 26 conference tournament titles. Creighton has also been recognized with the Missouri Valley Conference All-Academic Award in four of the past five seasons. Bluejay student-athletes have consistently achieved GPA’s of 3.25 or above. Seven Creighton athletic teams earned recognition from the NCAA based on its most recent multi-year Academic Progress Rates: men's golf and tennis and women's basketball, cross country, golf, soccer and volleyball. Rasmussen was inducted into the Omaha Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. A member of the College World Series of Omaha, Inc., Executive Committee; Rasmussen played a vital role in seeing that Creighton and the city of Omaha remain as hosts of the College World Series.
The three-level, 65,000-square-foot building, will house a multipurpose field house with synthetic turf for intramural sports, a suspended two-lane running track, a rock-climbing wall, fitness areas with cardio, circuit-training and free-weight equipment. It will also have multipurpose rooms for group exercise classes for Pilates, yoga, aerobics and other wellness activities and a cooking preparation space to promote nutrition and healthy living. Work on the Rasmussen Center will begin this summer. Completion is expected around August 2010.
“This expansive, two-phase fitness health and recreation center, which supports the city’s new master plan, is dedicated to nurturing the physical well-being of our students, faculty and staff,” Schlegel added.
Phase I of the project included the Ryan Center and D.J. Sokol Arena, which will house a gymnasium seating 2,500-3,000, women’s basketball and volleyball coaches’ offices, locker rooms, ticket offices, athletic training and meeting rooms, and media workrooms. The arena, which will be completed in August of this year, will be used for other campus and community events including coaching camps/clinics, concerts, speakers and high school graduations.
The Ryan Center and D.J. Sokol Arena was made possible by the donations of Wayne and Eileen Ryan family and David and Peggy Sokol family.