New-look Frericks Center helps Flyers on, off court

By: Katie Obear – Staff Writer

The Frericks Center underwent major renovations this year.

Built in 1949, it was originally called the UD Fieldhouse and was used for basketball and volleyball. It has been used solely for volleyball since UD Arena opened in 1969.

Renamed in 1992 after former University of Dayton athletic director Thomas J. Frericks, the Frericks Center underwent its first renovations back in 2003, when the locker rooms were redone.

The renovations continued on in 2004 with the additions of a new scoreboard, new lighting and banners, and in 2009 when they completed the final stages of the first renovation designed to reduce player fatigue and the possibility for injury.

This year, major construction began to upgrade the facilities once again.

The floor was replaced with state of the art Robbins Bio Channel court, the rafters and ceilings were updated, a new roof was installed, and the brand new winged D logo was added onto the floor and onto all of the banners surrounding the court.

The lobby was also transformed. It now features photos of all 16 UD sports throughout the lobby area, with a new lounge seating area and interactive televisions. A final piece of this lobby will be the installations of a glass piece dividing the seating area of the lobby.

“It started with the lobby, with having a spot where all coaches could come and bring recruits through, or fans, when they are coming to volleyball games, can come in and see the history of Dayton athletics. That is why all sports are represented on the walls in the lobby,” Scott DeBolt, director of the UD Arena and senior associate director of athletics, said.

The updated locker rooms were also a major renovation for the Flyers to have for practice and tournaments.

“Having a new space where we can come together and continue the legacy that has been there and set a new legacy in it, I think that is really important,” sophomore setter Jane Emmenecker said.

There are some elements of Frericks that have stayed the same since it was originally built. It has the original basketball hoops and upper level wooden seating that were in the UD Fieldhouse. The rest of the building, including the lobby and athletics offices, was added in 1985.

Frericks Center has a 5,000-seat capacity, making it the fourth largest volleyball-only facility in college volleyball.

“I think they will be continuing to climb up the ladder and be one of the great programs because we are seeing all these renovations. You know the school and everyone supports us, with all the renovations it definitely shows that,” senior libero Janna Krafka said.

These aren’t going to be the final renovations of Frericks Center.

“I don’t think we are done yet, I think there are some things, even this year, that are possibilities on the table for us,” head coach Tim Horsmon said.

Some future renovations could include a new scoreboard, new curtains, new sound system, new seating, temporary seating, permanent seating in the top section and potentially creating a volleyball players lounge.

The Flyers currently have a record of 11-5 and are riding a nine game winning streak, after starting their season with a 2-5 record.

The team will play its next matches Friday at George Mason and Saturday at George Washington, both starting at 7 p.m. The team will return home Friday, Oct. 16 to play against Davidson.

Photo: Among the many renovations at the Frericks Center occurred in the volleyball locker room. The team’s new locker room includes spacious wooden lockers and the new UD Athletics logo. Photo by Multimedia Editor Chris Santucci.