Over 20 years later, a glance again at how Allen Area got here to be

Ever heard of the phrase “If these partitions might speak”? It’s an expression that references the historical past of a sure place and the issues which have many issues which have occurred there.

Nicely, if the partitions might speak in Allen Area, they will surely have numerous issues to say and loads of tales to inform.

Since first opening its doorways in 2001, it’s seen the whole lot from musical performances, chapel companies, award exhibits, buzzer-beaters, and court docket stormings. The house of the Bisons has been the setting for a lot of moments and recollections which were etched into Lipscomb historical past endlessly.

However how did Allen Area come to be? Why is it right here and what occurred to make the thought come to fruition?

How it began

Inside McQuiddy Gymnasium throughout it’s tear down and the development of Allen Area in 2000. Picture from the 2000 Lipscomb Backlog.

In 1997, Lipscomb started to discover to chance of transferring from the NAIA (Nationwide Affiliation of Intercollegiate Athletics) degree to the NCAA Division I degree for all of its athletics packages.

The world was wanted to additional Lipscomb’s alternative to advance into NCAA Division I standing, and it was an enormous think about Lipscomb’s acceptance into the group. The varsity would start to make this transition in 1999, enjoying a partial NAIA and NCAA schedule earlier than turning into an NCAA-Impartial in 2000.

McQuiddy Gymnasium, which had been Lipscomb’s area since 1949, was demolished together with Yearwood Corridor (a ladies’s dormitory) to create house for a brand new multi-purpose area and a parking storage.

Lipscomb performed its official final sport in McQuiddy Health club on March seventh, 2000, a sport wherein the lads’s basketball staff received its remaining convention championship on the NAIA degree. The fitness center continues to be current on Lipscomb’s campus on a smaller scale. The now-renovated McQuiddy Health club is straight related inside Allen Area and with the Pupil Actions Heart. It’s typically used for intramural sporting occasions and as a apply/exercise space for a number of of Lipscomb’s athletic packages.

Lipscomb’s NCAA transition got here throughout a time of development and growth for the varsity

With this transition in athletics got here a number of different modifications on Lipscomb’s campus for scholar life.Hooked up to the newly constructed area was a 480-space parking storage that’s hooked up to the constructing. This offered an area for college kids to park, which was one thing that college students on the time cited as a problem on campus. The house can be typically used as occasion parking for the world.

The brand new area and parking space weren’t the one tasks had been engaged on on the time. Although the varsity misplaced one in every of its dorms in Yearwood Corridor, which had simply been constructed within the Eighties, it did make up for it somewhere else.

Together with these modifications got here a brand new Area Theatre (which is now often known as Shamblin Theatre) and the growth of each the Pupil Heart and Excessive Rise dormitory. Moreover, the scholar middle noticed the addition of a number of eating choices on campus.

The world’s development and why it’s known as “Allen Area”

An overhead look of the campus throughout Allen Area’s development in 2001. Picture courtesy of Kristi Jones

The college wasted no time with development, starting throughout the Summer season of 2000. The venture in constructing the world price round $16.5 million, equating to roughly $28.9 million at present. The world was set to seat over 5,000 individuals on the time of development and at the moment holds a capability just like that quantity.

In the event you’re like me there may be one factor that you simply take away from that sentence. Constructing an area isn’t low-cost, and as matter of reality, it’s fairly costly. Nonetheless, Lipscomb was lucky sufficient to obtain a serious donation from alumni (1968) and board of trustees member James C. Allen.

Allen, who’s a businessman and has remained a staple within the Lipscomb neighborhood since his time as a scholar, helped fund the venture as a benefactor.

The varsity then determined to call the constructing “Allen Area”, in honor of Allen and his spouse Linda.

Creating a brand new historical past for the following generations of Lipscomb college students

A 2008 image of the surface of Allen Area. Picture courtesy of Kristi Jones

The venture was formally accomplished within the Fall of 2001, and the world opened its doorways to the general public for the primary time on October twenty eighth, 2001. The primary occasion held contained in the constructing was the “In His Palms” worship service. The service noticed hundreds of scholars, workers, and neighborhood members in attendance to be part of the constructing’s first occasion.

Since then, Allen Area has hosted big-name acts equivalent to Sinbad and Jay Leno. It’s hosted nationally-televised awards exhibits within the type of the GMA Dove Awards, an expert sports activities staff within the ABA’s (American Basketball Affiliation) Nashville Rhythm, ASUN Match, and championship video games in basketball and volleyball.

Quick-forward to at present and Allen Area continues to be as busy as ever. What began as a means to assist Lipscomb get into the NCAA, has changed into one thing that has created superb moments and recollections for college kids, workers, gamers, and followers.

In the event you speak to alumni from the Nineteen Fifties-Nineties, a lot of them could in all probability inform you how particular McQuiddy Gymnasium was to them throughout their time at Lipscomb. They’ll point out the historical past and the environment, and the way the constructing simply had a sure mystique round it.

For the brand new era of Lipscomb college students, Allen Area has turn out to be a type of locations of their expertise at Lipscomb. It’s turn out to be the identified and beloved residence of the Lipscomb Bisons.

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