Rendering of updated Sanford Sports Center

Rendering of updated Sanford Sports Center

Sanford is giving its 30-year-old Sanford Sports Center a $2 million facelift, but it isn't coming with an expansion.

The campus' athletics building plays host to its multiple-time state championship winning girls and boys basketball programs, along with volleyball and wrestling.

It will receive new courts, training facilities, and an improved walkway and restrooms to accommodate all students, as Sanford Head of School Mark Anderson pointed out its not just a building for its high school athletes.

"In the year 2020, why would you even take the time to work on athletics? Sports are a big deal. They're a big deal for a high school, especially, but also a middle school and lower school. They're also an entry point for so many in the community."

The renovations are being made possible thanks to a $1 million donation from Sharon and Rick Struthers, who challenged the rest of their fellow alums to match their gift, the largest in school history.

While modern technology will be added to the Sports Center, there's no intention to increase the footprint of the building, so Sanford's biggest crowds, when they could easily draw a thousand or more fans to the small Hockessin campus will remain a problem.

"I didn't want to overbuild and extend us financially for the very small handful of times. Most basketball games, certainly all volleyball and wrestling games, its very functional and it meets our needs now."

The building's planned design comes after meetings with many staffers.

"From three-years-old all the way through sixth grade, kids are having P.E. class in this space. This is truly an intersection of all three divisions of Sanford, so my P.E. teachers have to be a part of the conversation as well."

The renovated Sports Center, which they plan to have ready for the start of 2020-21 basketball season in November, is the latest building improvement that includes the Geipel Center for Performing Arts in recent years.

Anderson said they're not done. 

They hope to begin the process of renovating their 45-year-old Math/Science Center later this year. Specific plans and fundraising goals have yet to be determined.