The Hammermill now known as the Highmark Events Center – LE CHEVALIER GANNON


What was once known as Audi, and more recently The Mill, is now known as the Highmark Event Center.

Gannon University’s beloved Hammermill Center will be revamped by new sponsor, Highmark.

The name change took effect Friday after university president Keith Taylor, Ph.D.; Jim Teed, Highmark’s vice president for regional marketing; Gannon athletic director Lisa Goddard; and Barbara Beuscher, vice president of college advancement, announced the deal at a press conference.

“I’m proud to announce that Gannon University has signed a 10-year agreement with Highmark Health that will give the ‘Hammermill’, our beloved home of Gannon’s Golden Knights, a new name: the Highmark Events Center.” , Taylor said.

This investment from Highmark will support major renovations to the 36,000+ square foot sports complex that will transform it into a state-of-the-art facility for Gannon and the Erie community.

The cost of transforming the Highmark Center is expected to exceed $10 million, with major changes planned both inside and outside the center.

Gannon has already raised $5.5 million for this project and more than $65 million for the university’s $100 million campaign goal.

Taylor said a request for proposals would be issued immediately for the design work, and the hope is to complete this project within the next two years.

“It depends on when we start, either spring or fall,” Taylor said.

“It should be a 12-15 month construction process with a total period of two years to get the job done.”

While this construction takes place, teams that train and compete in the Highmark Event Center may have to play home games at other venues, including women’s and men’s basketball teams, women’s and men’s wrestling, the women’s volleyball team and the acrobatics and tumbling team.

“While this is most likely to happen, we will know more once we develop a defined schedule and align it with each sports calendar,” Beuscher said.

“While that might be a downside, it’s a good one to have. All of my conversations with teams and coaches indicate that it’s a sacrifice they’re willing to make to allow renovations to happen on time.

With this project taking up to two years to complete, many of the athletes Gannon now has are very excited about this new change, even though they won’t be able to play in and on the new facility.

Senior Braden Olsen, a member of the men’s basketball team, expressed his excitement for the new facility.

“I’m really happy for them,” he said. “I think it’ll be really cool for the new kids coming to Gannon and I think it’s a huge step up for Gannon overall.”

Second-year volleyball player Maddy Blake said she was excited and grateful for the upcoming project.

“‘The Mill’ will always have a special place in our hearts, but I’m so grateful to everyone for the opportunity to be at this new facility, and to the community that supports all student-athletes. here at Gannon.” Blake said.

Changes to the Highmark Event Center will include a variety of upgrades.

“The exterior of the building will have the Highmark logo added, new exterior doors in the lobby, a renovated lobby with a Hall of Fame display area and a historical exhibit to honor the incredible legacy of this facility…from from the Audi, to the Hammermill and now Highmark,” Beuscher said.

Beuscher said other changes include remodeled locker rooms, a new athletic training center moving from the second floor to the first floor, a new concession stand and the complete overhaul of Gary Miller Court.

Although the new Highmark Event Center focuses on athletics, the renovated facility will also host many other Gannon-related events, including those involving the Jefferson Educational Society.

“The Highmark Center will elevate and transform the student experience at Gannon by providing modernized, engaging and highly visible spaces for intercollegiate sports practices and games,” Taylor said.

“It will also serve as an important professional clinical learning site, providing hands-on learning opportunities for students in Gannon’s athletic training, physical therapy, and other healthcare professional programs.

“It will also be the home of community events and public lectures such as the JES Global Summit, and academic opportunities such as Gannon Reads, Orlando and Loftus Lectures Bringing Our Catholic Tradition to Life, Celebrate Gannon, Model ONE and more.”

Gannon University and Highmark will bring a very visible change to the community.

Teed expressed his excitement for the new partnership between Highmark and Gannon.

“Sponsoring the Highmark Events Center is one of many examples of Highmark’s commitment to this community – not only providing exemplary healthcare coverage that you can take anywhere – but contributing to the quality residents here in this community – where we live, where we work and where we play,” Teed said.

“We are very pleased to enter into this partnership with Gannon University, to advance and elevate what is truly a landmark in our downtown.”

Chloe Palmiere

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