Local News

Campbell University Poised to Build $30M Convocation Center

Posted December 26, 2006 7:21 p.m. EST

— Construction crews have cleared the way for a $30 million multipurpose center at Campbell University that officials hope will bring students closer together and satisfy a growing county.

"We're finally going to have a place where our entire undergraduate population can convene at one time," said John Roberson, Campbell's vice president for marketing and planning.

Campbell currently has Carter Gymnasium, which seats about 947 people. It is the second smallest in the nation for a Division I basketball school. Out of 337 gymnasiums, Campbell's is ranked 336th.

The new 109,020-foot facility, the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center, will house a 3,000-seat arena, practice gymnasium, basketball offices, locker rooms and a 5,000 square-foot student fitness center.

"We have a great deal at stake here," said Campbell head basketball Coach Robbie Lang, who said that just mentioning the new center and its 3,000 seats has already helped recruiting.

"Recruiting is the lifeblood of any basketball program, and certainly, having a new convocation center is testament to the aggressive nature our university has taken."

It is also the largest single construction project ever in the county, and when complete, will also provide the largest gathering place in Harnett County.

Harnett County's Board of Commissioners says the project also benefits all of Harnett County and has given $1 million to help fund the center.

"It's just a tremendous feeling of excitement about this convocation center," County Commissioner Dan Andrews said.

University leaders hope to have the center complete by September 2008.