Regents Center

Construction

The Regents Center began as the Field House in 1964 and was completed with additional facilities in 1991. Situated just south of the Dahl Centennial Union and west of Ylvisaker Hall, Regents Center lies in the valley below the majority of Luther College's campus.

Proposal

When Preus Gymnasium burned down in 1961, the college was bereft. The high loss of both classrooms and athletic facilities left the college without valuable places to conduct their classwork. There was some controversy over the location of the Field House versus the chapel/auditorium building, later to be built and named the Center for Faith and Life. In the Wickstead campus plan of 1962, the field house would have been built between Valders Hall of Science and the municipal pool. David T. Nelson proposed, in a sharp contrast, to placing the building on the bottomland below the Union, which would then allow for expansion of dormitories, a library, and other buildings on the upper campus. His idea eventually won out and the Field House, along with the many athletic fields, were placed on the lower campus.

Funding

The financing of the Field House proved to be the easiest out of all the Luther College buildings. The insurance policy for Preus Gymnasium amounted to $1,264,725. The actual cost to build the Field House ended up being only $1,322,850.

Planning

One new feature of the Field House was the main gymnasium which included three basketball courts and increased seating. An interesting part of this gym was a floor that rested on metal springs to provide some "give" to prevent athlete injuries. Also included was a folding wall to separate one-third of the area from the rest in order to provide a place for daily chapel and a lecture hall. The Field House was designed as a building large enough to house the entire student body plus, in order that large assemblies and events could happen including Messiah and student registration. Along with the larger spaces there were also facilities for wrestling, dance, gymnastics, weight lifting, and classrooms.

Developments

Over the years many of the athletic fields have moved to the lower campus including the baseball and softball diamonds; eight new tennis courts; and by 1966, a new football field named Carlson Stadium. For track runners, a cross country trail was added throughout the campus called the Ritland Fitness Trail. Additional facilities have been placed in the building over the years including a new name, the Regents Center. In 2001 a work out area for students, faculty, and staff was opened named the Legends Fitness for Life Center.

Resources

History of the Health and PE Departments