Smooth Sailing Ahead
Washington College’s waterfront sports teams, as well as faculty, staff, students, and community members, are getting a brand new venue with the Hodson Boathouse. Groundbreaking is set for September 13.
Washington College will break ground on the $5 million Hodson Boathouse on September 13, as the College’s sailing and rowing teams, as well as other students, faculty, and community members look forward to the striking new facility opening its doors next spring.
The groundbreaking event is set for 5 p.m. and will include representatives of the Hodson Trust, which donated $2.5 million to the project, as well as Regis de Ramel ’97, a member of the College’s Board of Visitors and Governors and crew team alumnus, who made a $1 million gift. These, in addition to support from other College trustees and donors, will make possible the new facility replacing the Truslow Boathouse, which will continue to store shells and rigging.
“Few schools are lucky enough to have a river as beautiful and storied as the Chester as part of their history and fabric,” says College President Kurt Landgraf. “I’m excited that, at last, we will have a facility that does justice to the efforts of our athletes and coaches, that provides our faculty, staff, and students an attractive gathering place and safe, convenient access to the water, and impresses visiting teams, as well as prospective students and their families. I can’t thank our donors enough for giving the College the opportunity to finally create the beautiful boathouse it has aspired to for so long.”
Located next to the Lelia Hynson Pavilion, the Hodson Boathouse will house workout equipment, locker rooms, and a state-of-the-art tank room with a 16-station, 25-by-54-foot rowing tank in which rowing team crewmembers can perfect their sweep technique and practice when the weather is too cold or inclement for on-the-water training. A wraparound deck will offer expansive views of the river.
“Over the years, the Washington College rowing and sailing teams have grown both in size and competitiveness, but without comparable improvements to their facility,” says Ramel. “It was high time we built the athletes a facility that reflects their talents and rewards the coaches for their commitment.”
The new boathouse will be the site of the College’s sailing class, which blends nautical knowledge with other liberal arts disciplines, exploring wind and tidal dependence with an emphasis on safety. The Chester River Rowing Club, a community group of masters racers and recreational rowers, is expected to use the new boathouse, as well.
Support for the $5 million project came from more than 150 donors, including former team members and other alumni. “The new boathouse will be a tremendous addition for our three varsity boating sports, enhancing the student athlete experience and giving us a significant advantage in the recruitment of prospective student athletes,” says Director of Athletics Thaddeus Moore. “I cannot thank the project’s numerous donors enough for giving our current and future student athletes this wonderful gift.”