MCC Breaks ground on ‘NEXT GENERATION’ of thunder sports

Manhattan, KS - Thunder Pride was never more evident than this past Friday when 11 golden shovels simultaneously stabbed into the turf breaking ground on Manhattan Christian College’s Student Activity Center.

MCC President Kevin Ingram called the $3.1 million athletic boosting project “…the most aggressive financial undertaking in the history of our school.”

Calling the on-campus facility “practical and for all MCC students,” Ingram said, “It’s a facility that will not only be the home for our sports teams and intramurals, but also our yearly Opportunity Fair and community Leadership Breakfast events. This is about all of our students and is much more than just a building.”

Ingram’s excitement continued by saying that the SAC would be another step in “… fulfilling our ultimate mission of Spiritual Development, Academic Success and Athletic Excellence. It’s another tool in our tool chest that will help fulfill our mission in building Christian leaders.”

MCC athletics director and men’s basketball coach Shawn Condra added, “The facility is going to be the next step to adding to the legitimacy of our program. We will now have our own facility for the first time in the history of the school. “

Chuckling, he added, “We no longer will have to worry about having one of our practices bumped by a middle school basketball game.”

Speaking for the student body of MCC was Student Government President Dee Dee Guthrie, who told the gathering of nearly 400 that the SAC should not be viewed “… as a house, but as a home.” She added it was the latest demonstration of “Thunder Pride.”

Within the 16,500 square foot multi-purpose facility will be a basketball court, bleacher seating for 300 Thunder fans, three locker rooms, two offices for the athletic administration, a workout room, a team meeting room, a concession area, scoreboards and a changing room for officials.

Ingram said that it’s not usual in the Midwest Christian College Conference to see on-campus facilities like this, but he said, “Ours will definitely be in the upper tier of the ones we’ve seen”

The metal building will blend in with the existing Coffin Memorial Campus Center with a limestone trimmed exterior and color scheme that will fade from dark-to-light as it reaches its 30-foot height. Inside the walls will be accented with a variety of shades of Thunder blue tiles to help with the acoustics.

Of its 14th and Laramie on-campus location, Condra said, “We really hope that having our home on campus will encourage our students to walk across the street and give us that home court advantage.”

Thunder women’s basketball coach Sarah Wenger said, “Our new home is the next step to revamping our program. I think the interest in MCC will explode with more student-athletes wanting to come here. Now we will have a facility to help them become the best they can be.”

Historically, the home of MCC Thunder men’s and women’s basketball, plus volleyball, has been a dozen blocks off-campus in the Manhattan City Auditorium.

The Student Activity Center became a vision in August of 2014 and was formally announced at MCC’s “Vision 360” banquet in April of 2015 as part of the Next Generation Campaign.  It’s hoped that ribbon cutting ceremonies will take place prior to the opening of classes in 2017.

“I was asked a year ago what was the most significant thing going on at MCC and this is the project that I mentioned,” said Ingram. 

Four friends of MCC contributed nearly 65 percent of the $3-plus million project. Other significant contributions have come from the Mabee Foundation in Tulsa, Okla., and the Sunderland Foundation in Kansas City.

Ingram said that the Next Generation Campaign is within $100,000 of being completed. Also included in that project was improving the first impression of the campus, construction of the activity center and enhancing campus technology and security. The Student Activity Center will complete that three-phase project.

Design and construction of the facility will be under the guidance of BHS in Manhattan and Hutton Construction out of Wichita.

Article By Mark Janssen




MCC Scoreboard

2/25/2021 | Mens Basketball vs. No. 2s Arlington Baptist College | L, 88-81 
2/20/2021 | Mens Basketball vs. No. 1 Barclay College | W, 109-90 
2/20/2021 | Womens Basketball vs. No. 5 Faith Baptist Bible College | W, 78-67 
2/19/2021 | Womens Basketball vs. No. 7 Central Christian College of the Bible | W, 64-57 
2/19/2021 | Mens Basketball vs. No. 3 Faith Baptist Bible College | W, 93-70