Cochise College completed an overhaul of athletics facilities at the end of the summer, with Stronghold Gymnasium seeing an expanded weight room and locker rooms, significant improvements to the baseball field, and new offices.
Stronghold Gymnasium was built in 1967, the last building erected as part of the original construction plans of the Douglas Campus, which opened in 1964. Since then, the gym has never seen an all-inclusive renovation.
“The people who have come through the facility said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me; this is so nice,’” said athletic director Bo Hall. “The ones who knew what it looked like are saying, ‘Wow.’ And the new people who wouldn’t know the difference are saying, ‘Wow.’”
Everything in Stronghold Gymnasium except the basketball court and bleachers was overhauled. The locker rooms were renovated and moved from one side of the building to another. Previously separate, the weight room and fitness lab were united into one expanded space. The lobby received a makeover, coaches’ and athletic director offices were moved, and the physical training room was enlarged. Teams now have a space in which to watch game films.
In addition to the gym, the baseball field saw renovations to the dugouts, backstop, fences and bullpens.
“It’s a definite improvement for our coaches, which should help our recruiting of athletes,” Hall said.
Hall played baseball for the Apaches, graduated in 1971 with an Associate of Arts degree, and returned to Cochise in 1984 as an instructor and coach before becoming the athletic director. He remembers many walls being knocked down and built up in other places over the years and recalled when what used to be the print shop was the wrestling room and what used to be the fitness lab was the gymnastics room.
“We didn’t have women’s athletics when that space was built, so one of the problems we’ve always had is locker room space for visiting teams, which is fixed now,” Hall said. “We’ve seen a lot of improvements across the entire Douglas Campus, not only in this facility, which will benefit all our students as well as athletes. I think what we’re seeing is our president has made a commitment to the Douglas Campus.”