The Reagan Center, the building that serves as home to the Eureka College athletics department, will play host to Eureka basketball and swimming yet again during the 2011-12 season. The facility has seen significant upgrades in recent years, including a new hardwood floor in the basketball arena in the summer of 2011 and and a new filtration system for the pool in the summer of 2009.
The multi-purpose facilty, named after alums Ronald Reagan (‘32) and Neil Reagan (‘33), opened in 1970 and also hosts the offices for the Eureka athletics department. The building also houses Eureka’s on-campus athletic training facility, a weight-training area for Eureka student-athletes and classrooms for the Eureka College physical education department.
Featuring a 1,500-seat gymnasium for basketball and volleyball, the Reagan Center plays host to more than 30 games each year. The Eureka College pep band, as well as the cheerleading and dance teams, add to the festive game day atmosphere that entertains Eureka fans throughout basketball games.
A hardwood floor was installed in the arena last June, a surface formerly used as a practice floor by the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves. The portable surface features a parquet design and was installed in pieces and painted by Clarkston, Mich.-based Game Day Athletics. The installation crew, headed by Tom Petrie, also installed and painted the Reagan Center’s previous playing surface.
The hardwood floor was placed on top of the synthetic playing surface that was installed during the summer of 2008. The first official NCAA contest was played on the new floor on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011 when the Eureka volleyball squad defeated Blackburn. The first official NCAA basketball game to be played on the new floor is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011 when the women’s basketball team takes on Robert Morris-Springfield.
Eureka College will dedicate “Championship Circle” on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011 during halftime of the Red Devils’ men’s basketball game scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. The newly-painted circle at center court will be dedicated in honor of Eureka Hall of Famer and former men’s basketball head coach Dave Darnall and Eureka’s 1994 NAIA Division II national championship team.
“This new floor gives Eureka College student-athletes an opportunity to play on a quality, professional-caliber surface that will minimize injuries and maximize performance,” Eureka Director of Athletics Paul Bryant said at the time of the installation. “Along with the new scoreboards that were installed last winter, the new floor provides a huge upgrade for our facility.”
The building also boasts a competition-sized pool that hosts the Eureka College Sprint Swim Meet every winter. This season’s event is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012.
Dedicated for Ronald P. Bonati on Oct. 4, 2007, the the Bonati Fitness Center is the on-campus training facility for the campus and community. Named for Bonati and funded by his wife Christine Bonati Bollwinkle, the facility provides the campus and community a state of the art fitness center. Bonati attended Eureka College from 1957 until 1960 and served as a trustee for Eureka College from 1993 through 1999. He had a 34-year management career with Caterpillar, Inc. where he was the Vice President of the North America Commercial Division from 1993 until 1999.
Also dedicated on Oct. 4, 2007 was the Rigazio Lobby for 1976 Eureka College graduate Steve Rigazio. Named and funded in his memory by his parents Gretchen and Tony Rigazio, Rigazio was the president of Nevada Power Company at the time of his illness and death in 2001. The Rigazio Lobby features a double trophy case displaying Eureka’s finest athletic accomplishments, as well as a high definition television showcasing the members of the Eureka College Athletics Hall of Fame.