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MU decides to demolish Withrow Court

Miami clubs, intramural sports teams forced to find new facility

By Kaelynn Knestrick, For The Miami Student

Withrow Court, Miami's former recreational center and a building that has been standing on Tallawanda Street since 1931, is being demolished.

Once the current Rec cener opened on South Quad in 1994, the discussion surrounding the fate of Withrow began. After more than a decade of debate and evaluation, Miami decided to demolish Withrow, which is now used for club and intramural sports.

According to Interim Senior Director of Programs and Academic Partnerships Mike Arnos, the $4 million cost of renovating the building is too expensive, making demolition the best option.

Doug Curry, the executive director for recreation services, stressed that Miami students are the university's main priority and that they are doing all they can to look for additional spaces to compensate for the loss of Withrow. In the mean time, the student-athletes who have been using the building will be out of a practice facility.

The Rec center and nearby Phillips Hall are potential options for the intramural and club teams' new location, but discussion is still underway.

However, Curry said the teams would have access to the new indoor sports center's turf and track. The access to this facility can be crucial to placing intramural and club teams.

"One of the biggest things that will be lost with the tear down of Withrow is the basketball courts," Curry said. " A way we are trying to counter that problem is using Phillips Hall to maximum capacity."

Junior Dilushka Fernando, a member of the weightlifting club and frequenter of Withrow, said she was extremely upset with the decision.

"It's like they're taking the ground from under my feet," Fernando said.

However, first-year intramural basketball player Connor Huelsman disagreed, saying the decision to demolish Withrow is a good one.

"I believe tearing down Withrow is a good thing," Huelsman said. "It would be nice to be able to play at Millett or the Rec center."

One of Huelsman's main arguments for the building's destruction was that the displacement of these teams may give way to a newer, better location for them to practice.

"The intramural and club teams should also be provided with good quality facilities," he said.

Additional reporting by Ryaan Ibtisam.