Providence has upgraded their facilities for athletics massively in the 14 years since Bob Driscoll arrived as the school’s Athletic Director. There are new fields, a new stadium for soccer and lacrosse, a track, a new softball field, new tennis courts, big upgrades to both the Dunkin’ Donuts Center and Schneider Arena. The one missing piece is a dedicated facility for men’s basketball — something that every other Big East member has on their campus. On Wednesday Driscoll, along with President Brian Shanley, OP. announced that they have received a major gift from former Board of Trustees Chair Michael A. Ruane and his wife, Elizabeth Ruane that will allow the Ruane Friar Development Center to break ground in the Spring of 2016. The Ruane’s also donated a large sum towards the construction of the Ruane Center for the Humanities that opened in September 2013. The project is two-phased with the first phase expected to be completed by the Summer of 2017.
“We owe much of what Providence College has become – and what it will be in the future – to Mike, Liz, and the Ruane family,” said Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P. ’80, “Through their example and their generosity, they inspire us to strive to be the best, and this facility will help us succeed at the highest level.”
Because Providence is the last of their Big East peers to have such a facility the Friar coaches and administrators were able to tour the results of each school’s projects and take the best of each one when putting the plan together for Providence’s facility. This project began as a $3 million gym for the men’s basketball team and has grown over time to become the $37.5 million facility that will house offices for the athletic department, athletic training center, new sports hall of fame, atrium connecting Alumni Hall with the new Development Center, among other bells and whistles.
“This gift from Mike and Liz will be essential for our student-athletes to have continued success on the national level,” said Robert G. Driscoll, Jr. associate vice president and director of athletics. “This construction project represents the culmination of investments over the last decade, allowing us to create state-of-the-art facilities for all our athletics teams and helping us to capture BIG EAST and national championships.”
￼“This is an exciting time for Friar men’s basketball and for our entire Athletics Department,” said men’s head basketball coach Ed Cooley. “We appreciate the generosity of Mike and Liz and all the Friar fans who have made this possible with their support. Having great facilities is imperative in helping the development and growth of our student-athletes.”
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