Roberts Pavilion Opens, Receives Positive Feedback From Student Previews

Roberts Pavilion, the new Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) sports center, was unveiled on Apr. 8 for students, faculty, and staff to preview before its official opening in August. Claremont Mckenna College, Scripps College, and Harvey Mudd College students can currently test out new equipment and take guided tours of the Pavilion.  

“It exceeded my expectations,” Sarah Malott CM ’19 said. “I ended up showing my family and a soccer [prospective student] around. Their reactions were the same as mine. Particularly the [prospective student], who had toured other D3 schools, said that nothing really compared to this.”

Featuring a wide array of facilities, the Pavilion wasn’t designed to just host athletic events. Its main arena is well-equipped for both basketball tournaments and for cultural events.

According to the Roberts Pavilion website, the Arena “will host popular Athenaeum speakers, student/parent first-day orientation, convocation, and planned outdoor ceremonies moved indoors by weather. Theatrical lighting and sound systems will also help assure an appropriate environment for all these major events.”

The three-leveled center will function as a space for both fitness and fun. Not only does it provide fully furnished exercise rooms and physical therapy stations, but it also dedicates an entire floor for recreational sports.

“The one thing that I’m really going to remember was the jungle gym of fitness equipment,” Joel Porter CM ’16 said. “There was a tug of war rope and monkey bars to swing on. My friends and I had a really great time with it.”

Porter and other CMC seniors were the first students to see the Pavilion, as the Apr. 8 and 29 previews were reserved exclusively for the graduating class.  

“It was really nice of the administration to just let seniors have a chance to visit the Roberts Pavilion before we graduated,” Porter said.

The administration also provides students a chance to recommend changes to the Pavilion before it opens in August.

“They had an exit survey on preview days. And there’s also an amount of funding set aside to change things if students see something wrong,” Tarah Gilbreth CM ’18 said, who plans to work at the Pavilion next year. “For example, if someone wants more mirrors on the wall and if that’s a really popular thing to say on the survey, then [the funds will be used] to make that happen.”

While the size of the Pavilion stands in contrast to CMC’s aesthetic of small-scale architecture, Gilbreth said that the culture of the Claremont Colleges does not stem from the consortium’s physical compactness but rather from its tight-knit community.

She referred to the “character wall,” a large mural near the Pavilion’s entrance, which consists of words in different languages.

The administration “asked us to submit words that we would like on the wall and ‘community’ was a big one. Really making a tight-knit community within such a large building is difficult, but I think that it can be done,” she said.

While some students see the character wall and its various languages as an implicit nod to the consortium’s increasing diversity, there have been reports of misspelled words.

“Some of my friends pointed out that there were two Chinese characters that should have been switched,” Porter said. “I think it might have been a very small mistake that CMC made there. But other than that I think the whole experience was perfect.”

Malott believes that the Roberts Pavilion will have a positive effect on athletics in the consortium.

“I think that’s going to bring a lot more fans to the games, and we haven’t had great turnout for sporting events in the last few years,” she said. “It’s just going to make it a lot more social to go to sports games.”

Roberts Pavilion also incorporated elements of its predecessor, the Ted Ducey Gymnasium.  

“They used the old basketball floor and they made a wall out of it and they used it to make benches,” Malott explained. “I found it really cool that they tried to incorporate the history of CMS sports and showing the transition into something bigger in terms of athletics.”

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