Athletic and Student Center

Marianapolis is a vibrant and innovative community whose dynamic capacity and vision for programming beyond the classroom are currently underrealized due to facilities limitations.  Furthermore, Athletics and Student Life are key drivers of enrollment, but prospective families and campus visitors see current physical constraints before feeling and experiencing the strength of our community and programming.  While remaining dedicated to preserving the School’s traditions and history, as embodied in our beloved campus spaces, the time has come to enhance and extend these spaces to allow for the growth and development of the School.

Current Constraints:  Athletics

  • The current Athletic Center houses one court with as many as 7 distinct basketball teams and other sports vying for time throughout the year, requiring practices to be scheduled late into the
    evening and in early weekend hours, and limiting investment in the School’s best programs historically.  Varsity programs lack the time necessary to be competitive in the New England prep school arena, and junior varsity and developmental teams barely receive adequate court time to advance skill levels and confidence – limited to half-court practice times as short as 45 minutes.
  • Having one sole court restricts opportunities to host home contests.  This significantly impacts school spirit, team identity, and even player confidence.
  • Multiple community events such as Residential Life programming and college fairs are held in the current gym due to a lack of other large gathering spaces on campus, increasing wear and tear on the wooden court floor, increasing maintenance costs, and halting use for sports during these events.
  • Due to inclement winter weather, this sole court becomes the only indoor athletic space for winter sports.  As a result, off-season athletes cannot practice without indoor facilities such as tennis courts.  Furthermore, a large portion of the court houses a baseball batting cage in the Spring, rendering the gym unavailable for full court use.
  • Locker room space is inadequate for student athletes and coaches as well as visiting teams, coaches, and referees.
  • Current Athletic Training facilities hinder the efficiency of the topnotch care given, with limited treatment areas and resulting spillover into the adjacent hallways.  In addition, there is currently no privacy for phone calls to medical professionals and families.
  • The Fitness Center is filled to maximum possible capacity for equipment offerings and is shared by students following sports injury rehab protocol, in-season athletes, those training outside of their primary season, as well as the highly desired Strength and Training program in the Fall.  The current facility is insufficient for meeting all needs.
  • Offices and team meeting spaces are needed with technology available for reviewing game films and other athletic student services.  Coaches currently meet with students for such purposes in the main academic building across campus.
  • Athletic ceremonies are currently held in the Chapel and could be more centrally hosted in a trophy/reception area in the Athletic Center.
  • The wrestling program is currently housed in the historic St. Joseph’s Gym, a piece of Marianapolis history that will certainly be preserved – but while separated from the rest of the Athletic program increases need for medical coverage in multiple locations.  In addition, spectator capacity in this gym is significantly limited.
  • Storage for athletic equipment is limited and therefore housed in varying locations difficult to access.

Current Constraints:  Student Life

  • There is currently one student lounge on campus in open community space.
  • The lounge is in the main Academic building which limits its hours of availability. 
  • Student use of the lounge is limited by noise concerns due to its location near classroom spaces.
  • The lounge is insufficient in size to accommodate any permanent games such as ping-pong tables or other furnishings for student activities. 
  • Other school events are held in the current student lounge such as Art shows and receptions, which further limits accessibility to students for extended periods.
  • One traditional lounge exists for boarding students in St. John’s dorm, with permanently installed game tables such as pool and ping-pong.  However, access to the dorm lounge is limited due to its location in a residence hall, and traditional lounge offerings such as food for purchase at night an on weekends is not available. 
  • At the present time, we are without any student-centered areas for all community members to access with the full range of offerings students need and are present in traditional boarding prep schools.
  • Non-competitive wellness activities such as yoga, martial arts, and Experiential Learning classes do not have ample or appropriate space for gathering in an environment that facilitates quiet reflection and relaxation.

The Plan

To address the constraints outlined above and equip Marianapolis with the facilities needed to meet its untapped potential, a new Athletic and Student Life Center has been conceptualized that will connect to the existing athletic facility on campus and provide ample space for current and future programming. 

The facilities housed in the new athletic zone will include at least three dividable courts with flooring options for sports with specific needs such as wrestling and tennis, expanded and innovatively equipped spaces for training, ample space for fitness equipment, locker and weight rooms, storage for general and sport-specific equipment, and spectator capacity.

The Student Center will include a variety of small and large gathering areas, kitchen facilities, and a hub for the Student Activities Director.   Linking the two athletic spaces, the Student Center will be a community-owned space for all that fosters bonding of our naturally diverse community.  It will also provide spaces that promote health, wellness, nutrition, relaxation, and work-life balance.  These enhancements will directly benefit the entire Marianapolis community and contribute to the collective health of mind, body and soul of all who pass through and benefit from Athletic and Student Life opportunities on campus.

For more information, please contact the Advancement office at