Clark Craig Tumbles Down

Clark Craig Fieldhouse is no more.

Shortly before 1 p.m., the first bricks tumbled and by 2 p.m., the west face of the building had been crumbled by a wrecking crew.

The venerable fieldhouse is coming down to make way for a recreation and wellness center that will better suit the needs of OBU’s students, faculty and staff.

Clark Craig Fieldhouse originally served as a military recreational facility at Camp Maxey in Paris, Texas, during World War II. It was purchased, moved, and reconstructed on the OBU campus in 1948.

After years of valuable service, Clark Craig Fieldhouse is in deteriorating condition. Clark Craig will be forever remembered as the home of the Bison basketball team during the years the team reached three successive NAIA championship games, winning the national title in 1966.

The teams moved into the OBU Noble Complex’s Mabee Arena beginning in the 1982-83 season and Clark Craig has been used primarily for intramurals and as an indoor training facility for OBU’s spring sports.

The new wellness center is designed to meet the needs of the entire University community while enhancing the school’s attractiveness to prospective students. More classrooms, new and more equipment, and sufficient space for exercise programs will increase participation in intramurals, recreational activities, and the wellness program.

The Wellness Center will be a 59,000-square-foot, two-story facility featuring three basketball/volleyball courts, cardiovascular and weight lifting equipment, a one-tenth-mile walking/jogging track, an aerobics room, a two-story climbing wall, three racquetball courts, and new locker room access to OBU’s exisiting junior Olympic swimming pool. In addition, there will be office space in the center, which will be located on University Street, west of the Noble Complex for Athletics.

The athletic facilities enhancements will yield a new eight-lane all-weather track facility, relocation of lighted, on-campus intramural fields to the site of OBU’s current track, a new baseball/softball/soccer complex on the north side of the campus, expansion of the Coates Building to accommodate indoor track practices, and major renovations for the Noble Complex for Athletics.

The Noble Complex renovations will allow the University to clearly delineate between wellness and academic areas and facilities for varsity athletics. Approximately 12,650 square feet of the complex will be renovated, providing expanded space for classrooms, athletic training, varsity weight lifting facilities, and faculty and athletic offices. The complex, which opened in 1982, will be expanded by more than 12,700 feet, with new locker rooms and offices for men’s and women’s basketball, and a 3,125-square-foot event area overlooking the west end of the 2,400-seat Mabee Arena.