By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — St. Ambrose University dedicated its new locker and storage facility July 2 at St. Vincent’s Athletic Com-plex, with a blessing from Bishop Thomas Zinkula.
“This is a one-stop shop for everything — offices, locker rooms, training room, equipment and practice fields,” said Mike Magistrelli, St. Ambrose University’s head football coach. It has been “heartening to see how this property is used by St. Ambrose and Assumption (High School) students alike,” said Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, the president of St. Ambrose University.
The new facility, located just off West Central Park Avenue, provides much-needed space for the football program, which has been housed in multiple locations on and off campus. “They will now finally have a home in this building,” Sr. Lescinski added.
Other athletic teams from St. Ambrose and Assumption that use St. Vincent’s Sports Complex will have storage space in the basement.
During his blessing of the facility, Bishop Zinkula said, “God has given us our physical abilities so that we might give glory to him, not only through our intellectual capacities, or through our spiritual gifts, but also through our bodies. Through the gift of health, in our physical efforts and through honorable competition, we show forth the goodness of creation and the majesty of its creator.
“Just as in the spiritual life, athletics requires training and training requires proper facilities. We give thanks to God for this new building that will be used by our student athletes and coaches. We also give thanks to God for those who have made the construction of this new building possible. And so, we ask God’s blessing upon St. Ambrose University — its students, faculty, staff, alumni and benefactors … and all who will use (this building) to the glory of God.”
After a Scripture reading, Bishop Zinkula blessed the building with holy water. “… Help us always to ‘run so as to win.’ Pour forth your blessing upon this building and upon all whom it will serve, so that even as they use this facility to prepare for and recuperate from competition they may never lose sight of the crown that will never perish, but come triumphantly into the kingdom of light, joy and peace that you have prepared for them from the foundation of the world. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Sr. Lescinski pointed out that with the addition to the Wellness and Recreation Center the university can see how quality facilities impact student recruitment and student experience on campus. “As we move forward on the St. Vincent’s project, we will continue to enhance the student-athlete and overall student experience.”
“I feel like a kid on Christmas day,” Magistrelli said at the dedication. “This is a top-level facility, a tremendous recruiting tool and further enhances the overall experience of playing football at St. Ambrose University. This is a first-class program and another level of commitment by administration and the athletic program” to make this a reality.
Senior Carter Himmelman, a tight end on the football team, said he couldn’t thank the administration, athletic department and supporters enough for the new facility. “There is so much excitement and it really is like Christmas for us. This is a gift — a true blessing.”
Although the facility is not 100 percent complete, Sr. Lescinski said, it should be ready by the start of the new academic year. “We are excited to see the ongoing development of St. Vincent’s and look forward to the start of phase II. More information will be shared in the coming year.”
The lower level of the facility, considered the first floor, will have a laundry room, storage and an exit that leads to the practice fields. The upper level, seen from West Central Park Avenue, houses six offices, a training room, junior varsity locker room and a separate varsity locker room. These are for the St. Ambrose football program.