ATHLETICS-RECREATION CENTER (ARC)
The home to Valparaiso University men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball programs, the Athletics-Recreation Center opened in the fall of 1984.
The ARC Arena currently has 5,000 seats and will accommodate over 5,400. The arena is complemented by an attractive entrance, lobbies, ticket offices, and permanent display cases. Most recently, the arena underwent an upgrade in the summer of 2011, as a four-sided full color video display board was installed above center court. New side scoreboards were also installed, as well as new shot clocks and LED lights around the backboards.
On Sunday afternoon, December 9, 1984, Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish visited Valparaiso and provided the opposition for the ARC’s dedication game in men’s basketball. The 1984-1985 season also marked the first season of play for the Valpo women’s basketball team in the ARC. The volleyball team began playing its home matches at the ARC in 1985 as well.
The ARC has hosted several postseason sporting events, highlighted by Valpo hosting home games in both the men’s and the women’s Postseason NIT. The Valpo women’s basketball team welcomed Houston to the ARC for the quarterfinals of the 2002 WNIT, while the men’s basketball team hosted three rounds of the 2016 NIT — culminating in a quarterfinal win over Saint Mary’s which set a building record with an attendance of 5,444.
The ARC has also hosted a pair of first-round games in the CollegeInsider.com men’s basketball tournament (2011, 2014). Valpo hosted the final three rounds of the Horizon League Men’s Basketball Championship three times (2012, 2013, 2015), the Mid-Continent Conference Volleyball Tournament three times (1996, 2003, 2005) and the 1995 Mid-Con men’s basketball title game.
The arena court bears the name Homer Drew Court, in honor of Dr. Homer Drew, Valpo’s all-time winningest coach. Dedicated in October of 2010, Homer Drew Court honors a coach who led Valpo to 371 wins in his time at the helm, as well as seven NCAA Tournament appearances, including a run to the Sweet 16 in 1998.
The ARC also contains Hilltop Gym, which serves as the practice facility for the Valpo basketball and volleyball programs. The home court for Valpo basketball until the completion of the ARC in 1984, Hilltop Gym underwent a two-year renovation, including the installation of air conditioning and new lighting, which was completed in 2018. The Hilltop Gym playing surface has been named Kempf Court at Hilltop Gym, in honor of Dale F. Kempf ’62, a longtime faculty member in engineering and physics, whose estate provided the lead gift for the renovation project.
Since the original completion of the ARC, renovation of the existing facility has provided upgraded facilities for all Valpo students and faculty, including new locker rooms, staff offices and classrooms. New fitness studios for students, faculty, and staff were constructed during 2010, and the Mosak Performance Center was created as a weight room facility for varsity athletes.
In 1978-1979, a Valparaiso University student survey circulated which identified an overwhelming student-felt need for improved recreational facilities on campus. This was the birth of the ARC. This survey was followed in 1979 by a comprehensive University-wide study by the Council on University Priorities and Planning.
Subsequently, a program of needs was developed by a campus committee. The Valpo Board of Directors then designated the ARC as a priority capital component of Valparaiso University, thus a national comprehensive effort to raise $50 million in support of the University. Ground was broken for the ARC on April 23, 1983.
The $7.25 million Athletics-Recreation Center added 84,000 square feet of new construction to the existing facility, thereby providing at one site a complex of over 142,000 square feet for physical education, athletics, and recreational activities.
The building was designed with primary emphasis on supplementing the already existing recreational areas. It contains: seven playing floors for basketball and volleyball; a free play area for recreational basketball, volleyball, and other activities; a nine-lap per mile running track; classrooms and lounges; and a co-ed training room.
- Opened: 1983
- Capacity: 5000
- Home of Basketball and Volleyball
Hours of Operation
8:00 AM – 10:00 PM (Mon to Fri)
12:00 PM – 10:00 PM (Sat)
1:00 PM – 10:00 PM (Sunday)
1009 Union St, Valparaiso, IN 46383