Stile Athletics Field House


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Nearly three years of work culminated in 2004 with the dedication of the Student Recreation Center and Athletics Field House at The University of Akron. Then, on June 13, 2007, another important day came when the athletics' facility was officially named the Louis and Freda Stile Athletics Field House.

The ceremony in 2004, which was held under the front archway of the Rec Center, featured remarks by Dr. Luis M. Proenza, president of The University of Akron, Dr. Donald Demkee, chair of the board of trustees and then Akron quarterback Charlie Frye.

The dedication ceremony was one of the four to take place both as The University celebrated the completion of the $300-million New Landscape for Learning project.

"In collegiate sports and recreation, reaching `The Final Four' is a masterful achievement," Proenza said. "Today, we redefine its purpose as we dedicate the remaining four buildings in our New Landscape for Learning initiative."

The New Landscape for Learning involved the construction of nine new buildings, major expansions and renovations to 14 other structures and the creation of 31 acres of green space.

President Proenza went on to call Thursday a monumental occasion in the history of UA. He quoted the Latin words `Finis Coronat Opus' which means `The end crowns this work'.

Frye, the Zips signal caller at the time, spoke about what it meant to him to be able to practice in an on campus facility and not have to drive to the Rubber Bowl six times a week.

"You don't even want to know how much I am saving on gas," Frye joked. "It really means a lot to the entire football team to be practicing in this great field house and on the outdoor field as well. It makes us feel like a part of the campus community."

In June of 2007, the University's Board of Trustees approved the naming of the facility to the Louis and Freda Stile Athletics Field House in recognition of the Stiles' recent gift of $4.65 million to create the Louis and Freda Stile Family Endowment at the University. Sadly, in the in August of 2007, Louis passed away at the age of 87.

The endowment will help support UA’s football and basketball programs and/or assist students in need of financial support to attend the University.

“Louis and Freda Stile have a strong commitment to the University and to Akron,” said University President Luis Proenza. “We are proud to have the Stile name associated with the continued success of the University and Zips athletics.”
 
Added Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades, “The Stile Field House is the premier facility of its kind in the region and was named after two wonderful supporters of the University and athletics department. Their contributions are vital to the success of our student athletes in the classroom and in competition. We are fortunate to have such loyal, thoughtful and generous friends.”

In December 2000, the Stiles donated the VelVel Apartments property on Brown Street to UA, which became the site of the new field house. Completed in 2004, the 155,500-square-foot facility serves all 19 varsity sports and includes a 120-yard football practice field surrounded by a six-lane, 300-meter track and a varsity golf practice facility that is one of two in the Midwest.

As donors to the University since 1952 and with lifetime gifts totaling nearly $5.2 million, the Stiles are members of the Leadership Club of the John R. Buchtel Society.

Louis Stile, who graduated from UA in 1943 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, was a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity and Army ROTC. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Army, then returned to Akron to begin a long and successful career in real estate. Prior to his death, he operated and was the head of Stile Realty, Stile Construction and Stile Management.

The Stile Athletics Field House, which is adjacent to the new Student Recreation Center, Lee Jackson Field, Ocasek Natatorium and Rhodes Arena, is not only one of the finest indoor facilities in the region, but also among the best in the United States.

The facility features a full 120-yard AstroPlay practice field, 300-meter Mondo track, strength and conditioning center, sports medicine senter, indoor golf facility, football locker rooms, coaches' offices, team meeting space and spectator seating for 1,200.

The new varsity strength and conditioning center, with over 8,000-square-feet of space, includes both strength training and rehabilitation equipment.

The Zips' indoor golf facility is among the best in the nation and includes a putting green, bunker, video player development simulator and study lounge for the student-athletes.

Additional components include a new training room, varsity locker rooms, plus new athletic equipment and storage areas.

The Student Recreation Center includes such features as a four-lane, elevated running track, basketball courts, rock-climbing wall, recreational pool and weight room.

Both projects are part of a $300-million, five-year campus improvement program. Under this initiative, The University is adding nine new buildings and creating 30 acres of new green space, including 30,000 trees, to build a "New Landscape for Learning" in Akron. The first of the new structures, the Polymer Engineering Academic Center, opened in June of 2001.

The Arts and Sciences building opened during the fall of 2002, Phase I of the new Student Center opened in the spring of 2003 while Phase II was completed in August of 2004.

Driving Directions to the Stile Field House

From Route 8 South: Exit Buchtel Avenue. Go straight through traffic light. Turn right on Carroll Street at the next traffic light. Turn left on Spicer Street. Make a right on Vine Street. Follow Vine Street to its end and make a right on S. Union Street. The Athletics Field House will be on your right. Parking is available in lot 10 directly behind the building.

From 77 North, Route 8 North, 76 West: Take 77 north/76West to Route 8 North. Take the first exit (Carrol Street/Buchtel). Turn left at the stop light. The second traffic light is the Carrol Street/Spicer Street Intersection. Turn left on Spicer Street. Make a right on Vine Street. Follow Vine Street to its end and make a right on S. Union Street. The Athletics Field House will be on your right. Parking is available in lot 10 dictly behind the building.

From 76 East/77 South: Follow 76 East/77 South to the Route 8 North/Cuyahoga Falls exit. Take the first exit (Carrol Street/Buchtel). Turn left at the stop light. The second traffic light is the Carrol Street/Spicer Street Intersection. Turn left on Spicer Street. Make a right on Vine Street. Follow Vine Street to its end and make a right on S. Union Street. The Athletics Field House will be on your right. Parking is available in lot 10 directly behind the building.

From the West on Market Street: Take Market to Union Street and follow Union to Buchtel Avenue. At Buchtel turn left and go to the first traffic light. Turn right at the light onto Spicer Street. Make a right on Vine Street. Follow Vine Street to its end and make a right on S. Union Street. The Athletics Field House will be on your right. Parking is available in lot 10 directly behind the building.

From the West on Exchange Street: Take Exchange to Spicer and turn left. Turn left on Vine Street. Follow Vine Street to its end and make a right on S. Union Street. The Athletics Field House will be on your right. Parking is available in lot 10 directly behind the building.