Calvin remodels athletic conference room


File Photo

Last December, Calvin’s athletic, kinesiology and admissions departments partnered with Physical Plant to renovate the Steen Conference Room in the Spoelhof Fieldhouse.

The room is named after Barney Steen (1920-2005), a former coach, professor and administrator in the Calvin Physical Education Department. Under Steen’s coaching, the men’s basketball team won six MIAA titles between 1953 and 1966.  As the department grew, he was instrumental in setting the course for the future of Calvin athletics.

The renovated room, which overlooks the Venema Aquatic Center, features a hardwood floor, large conference table, soft-seating area for small group meetings and meetings with prospective student athletes and a large television.

According to Jim Timmer, director of men’s athletics at Calvin, the renovated room serves two main purposes.

“One, it serves as our conference room … for all the meetings that go on in our department,” Timmer said. “The second purpose is obviously to enhance the recruiting of student athletes and their families.”

Calvin’s athletic and kinesiology departments worked with admissions to design the room.

According to Russ Bloem, vice president of enrollment management, “The vision for the renovation of the Steen Conference Room originated within the Kinesiology department and enrollment management was eager to support the effort.”

“The enrollment team always strives to communicate the excellence in all that we do here at Calvin and feel that the remodeled Steen conference room helps showcase the excellence of our athletic programs.”

“We hope that prospective students who are interested in having DIII athletics as part of their college experience will be impressed with all that Calvin has to offer and that they will choose Calvin as their college,” Bloem continued.

Besides normal department business and meetings with prospective students, the room will be used during special events in the Fieldhouse.

Timmer explained, “We were picked to host the 2015 and 2017 NCAA Final Fours for both women’s basketball and women’s volleyball so we will use it as a hospitality reception area as well.”

The renovation was funded through donations from the Steen family and others.

“We are thrilled with the support from our alumni and friends who feel like we’re doing a good job in kinesiology and athletics and want to come along and support the recruiting efforts and the business we do,” said Timmer.