HIGH POINT, N.C. – High Point University and the HPU athletics department officially dedicated the new, $9 million Witcher Athletic Center at Vert Stadium in an official ceremony on Tuesday, September 9.
The state-of-the-art, 36,000-square foot facility will house the department’s lacrosse and soccer programs while also providing impressive new spaces for athletic training, academic services, media and donor hospitality.
“The unveiling of the Witcher Athletic Center ushers in a groundbreaking new era of High Point University athletics,” HPU athletic director Dan Hauser said. “This state-of-the-art building is one of the top-10 sport-specific facilities in the nation. The services it provides our student-athletes will create a more holistic college athletics environment in which they can learn and compete at an elite level.”
The building is named after High Point University alumnus Doug Witcher ’77, who serves as the CEO of Smart Choice, a national insurance network based in the Triad.
“For the student-athletes, coaches and staff that will benefit from having a facility such as this, I pray they’ll use it to honor God and our university as they represent our school in their athletic endeavors,” Witcher said. “At our university, our buildings must be the spawning ground for the next generation of leaders in our country and in our society. It’s an honor to be celebrating this project with all of you tonight and humbling to think about what this building holds for tomorrow.”
The Witcher Athletic Center houses a 120-seat academic center, including upgraded technology and space to support HPU’s student-athletes in the classroom. The facility also will feature a new athletic training center, which will aid in injury prevention, treatment and the rehabilitation process of HPU’s student-athletes. It includes a hydrotherapy area with a Hydroworx in-ground cold whirlpool and an underwater treadmill.
“The commitment that High Point University is showing to academics and athletics is part of an overall 10-year transformational plan that serves the needs of our students and supports the programs of our faculty,” said Dr. Nido Qubein, president of High Point University.
The building includes impressive new locker rooms, lounges and office suites for the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams and the men’s and women’s soccer teams. Each locker room features a thumbprint ID system, state-of-the-art DaLite Smartboard Technology, custom-built wood lockers, boot rooms and stick storage.
The Presidents Suite located on the third floor overlooks the adjacent Vert Stadium and features 32 stadium seats that provide a birds-eye view of the action. The Athletic Director Box on the second floor includes seating for up to 30 people. In addition, a media and video production area will be located on the second floor. The first-class media area will allow the Panthers to be featured more prominently on television broadcasts and provide the ability to produce high definition streaming video via the Big South Network.
“In the two-plus years of site visits, planning and construction, not one detail was overlooked in this process,” HPU associate athletic director Jared Micklos said. “The evolution and final product could not have been possible without the expertise and teamwork of all that were so passionately involved. The building was designed to provide our student-athletes with the best experience and our coaches with a competitive advantage; I can confidently say mission accomplished.”
The $9 million Witcher Athletic Center will be funded in part by a $3 million contribution from the High Point University Panther Club.
What They’re Saying About The Witcher Athletic Center at Vert Stadium
Dustin Fonder – HPU Men’s Soccer Head Coach
“We are extremely excited to move into the brand new Witcher Athletic Center. The combination of state-of-the-art locker rooms, new academic support space and improved athletic training area will be a great benefit to our current and future players. We are also excited about the new offices which will provide a welcoming atmosphere to recruits.”
Marty Beall – HPU Women’s Soccer Head Coach
“We are very grateful for the visionary leadership that Dr. Qubein provides our entire university and especially our athletic department. Our new home for women’s soccer is second to none and has already made a dramatic improvement on recruiting. This new facility will give our players all the resources to be extremely successful both athletically and academically.”
Jon Torpey – HPU Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach
“Our entire program is beyond excited to call the Witcher Athletic Center our home. From the moment you step foot in the Witcher Athletic Center it becomes crystal clear that you are walking into one of the finest facilities in Division I athletics. Our program is grateful to Dr. Qubein, Dan Hauser, our athletic administrators, our Panther Club supporters and the entire High Point University family for giving us the opportunity to call such an amazing facility our home.”
Lyndsey Boswell – HPU Women’s Lacrosse Head Coach
“The new Witcher Athletic Center is such an amazing addition to the HPU campus and we are so excited to call it home. This building is going to allow us to recruit higher-level student-athletes and take us to new heights of competition. This building is tremendous for our student-athletes and we can’t wait to reap the rewards of such a facility.”
Barry Kitley ’93 – HPU Panther Club President
“Many supporters several years ago sat in the Millis Center and looked across at these fields, dreaming of what this area could become. Through visionary leadership and the courage of many, we are now celebrating another wonderful world-class facility that will benefit our student-athletes, the community and the gameday experience.”
High Point University competes at the NCAA Div. I level in 16 varsity sports. Every sport is a member of the Big South Conference except men’s lacrosse, which competes in the Southern Conference. Since 2010, HPU teams have earned bids to NCAA Tournaments for lacrosse, soccer, track & field and volleyball. The Panther Club is a booster organization that has been supporting HPU Athletics since 1965, particularly through scholarships and facility improvements.
At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people. HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with over 4,300 undergraduate and graduate students. It is ranked No.1 by U.S. News and World Report in three categories: No. 1 Best Regional College in the South; No. 1 Up and Coming School in Regional Colleges in the South; and No. 1 for A Strong Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching in Regional Colleges in the South. HPU was named this year the No. 4 private school in NC for the best return on investment, and it is a 2014-2015 College of Distinction. The university offers 44 undergraduate majors, 43 undergraduate minors and 11 graduate degree programs.Visit High Point University on the Web at highpoint.edu.