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The news that keeps us Onward On!

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Why the Athletic Wellness and Event Center completion date was pushed back to 2025

Assistant+Vice+President+of+Facility+and+Auxiliary+Services+Jeremiah+Swetel+explains+why+construction+for+the+Athletic+Wellness+and+Event+Center+was+initially+delayed.
John Carroll University
Assistant Vice President of Facility and Auxiliary Services Jeremiah Swetel explains why construction for the Athletic Wellness and Event Center was initially delayed.

John Carroll is known for its picturesque campus, classic architecture and strategically condensed layout that poses an intimate setting. Students are able to easily access spots on campus, making for quick walks to class and limited time outdoors once the blustery Cleveland winters begin.

But, part of the reason for John Carroll’s tight-knit community is simple: it’s a byproduct of limited access to land. While this allows for all aspects of campus life to pertain to an immediate area, it also indicates that expansion is nearly impossible. Unless, of course, projects are done on the current campus property, maximizing space that already exists.

This is the goal of one of the most recent construction ventures, John Carroll’s Athletic Wellness and Event Center. In its initial stages, the completion of the project was set for fall 2024, but Jeremiah Swetel, assistant vice president of facility and auxiliary services told The Carroll News something different.

“We think we’ll be done toward the end of the first quarter of ‘25, beginning of the second quarter,” Swetel mentioned. “But there’ll be aspects of the Athletic Wellness and Event Center that come online before we’re completely done.”

And while the delay is certainly an aspect that the John Carroll community may be frustrated with, it’s clear that elaborate projects are more complicated than what the public eye perceives. Swetel told The Carroll News that there are a few reasons why the project is shifting toward a later timeline.

“You know, starting construction on the tail end of the pandemic, and lead times and cost of construction and everything are just really, really high.” According to Swetel, a significant portion of the cause for delay was in part to the discretion of University Heights.

“The City Planning Commission didn’t give our site plan approval right away…and so that essentially put us back about three months,” Swetel summarized. “And so we went to the Planning Commission and it was tabled.”

Certainly, a small amount of land creates a dynamic that the remainder of the University Heights community must face. With the Belvoir Lot gutted for the construction of the Athletic Wellness and Event Center in fall of 2023, the Planning Commission heard from local residents in regard to what the lack of lot space meant.

Win Weizer, a University Heights councilwoman, told The Carroll News that “there were some residents who came to council to complain about parking issues that have been generated by the construction of the field house.” With limited space for parking outside of John Carroll’s campus, the surrounding streets have seen an overflow of vehicles fighting for spots.

What remains the most pivotal aspect of the construction of the Athletic Wellness and Event Center is the end goal. John Carroll boasts an undeniable academic and athletic reputation that almost forces expansion in order to maintain a standard of excellence. While this is a driving force behind the project, current and prospective students pose some concern.

Liam Dodge ‘27 told The Carroll News, “I’m excited to be able to play football on the turf and run on the track in the winter, but as someone who isn’t on a sports team I’m nervous about being able to find a time when a team isn’t using the space.”

Overall, the status of the project seems to elicit opinions from a diverse range of people. While the project coming to fruition will likely create more excitement, John Carroll looks to weigh in on student, community and staff opinion when it comes to the primary function of the new Athletic Wellness and Event Center

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About the Contributor
Leah Harrigan
Leah Harrigan, Sports Editor
Leah Harrigan is a senior Communications major with a concentration in Integrated Marketing. She’s also pursuing minors in Psychology and Leadership Development. Leah is from Buffalo, NY which helps explain her unending love for the Buffalo Bills and a piping hot order of chicken wings. At John Carroll, Leah serves as a Peer Health Advocate for the Wellness Center and the Vice President of Women’s Club Basketball. She also enjoys working with the John Carroll Sports Information Department as a color analyst on live broadcasts. Additionally, Leah is a member of Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit Honor Society along with the Leadership Scholars Program. In her free time, Leah can be spotted at the gym, Chipotle, or somewhere outside appreciating some fresh air. Essentially, as long as Leah is eating, laughing, exercising, or chatting, she’s fairly content.  FYI: If you can’t find her on a Sunday, chances are the Bills are playing and she’s in front of the TV! After school, Leah dreams of working in the NFL as a sideline reporter and analyst to bring an additional female voice to the game!

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