The University of Maine has received a $5 million gift from athletic footwear manufacturer New Balance to be used for improvements to its recreation center and field house.
According to a statement from the university, $3 million of the gift will be used for renovation of the school’s Memorial Gym and the maintenance of the university’s rec center. The remaining $2 million will go toward a challenge grant to fund field house renovations.
In exchange for the gift, the university is giving New Balance naming rights for two facilities on its Orono, ME, campus. The New Balance Student Recreation and Fitness Center and New Balance Field House will carry the Boston-based company’s name for 20 years. That term could be extended at a later date.
“We are humbled and flattered by New Balance’s generosity,” University of Maine President Robert Kennedy said in a press conference announcing the gift. “With its strong Maine connections, commitment to environmental sustainability and focus on community partnerships, New Balance is an ideal partner for the University of Maine as we make investments in the future. Members of our community and those who depend on UMaine for recreation, fitness and community engagement will benefit from this generous gift for years to come, and we are most thankful.”
When the university’s $25 million rec center opened in 2007, it was one of the first college recreation centers to receive the silver level of LEED certification for its sustainability standards. The 87,000-square-foot facility features a 14,000-square-foot fitness center, group exercise rooms, sports courts, an indoor track, a leisure pool, a training room, a juice bar and a lounge.