Constructed in 1969, the Memorial Coliseum is home to the Rex E. Pyles Arena and the adjacent domed pool. The building is used for healthful recreation, academic classes, and intercollegiate competition. The main facility was named the Rex E. Pyles Arena in honor of the late athletic director, a highly successful basketball coach.
After a decision made by the AB Board of Trustees, the coliseum closed on Thursday, January 20 to students, faculty, and staff, and occupants were relocated to Paul Jones Hall.
“This was not an easy task,” said President Dr. James “Tim” Barry. “The coliseum has served our students for years, showcasing some of AB’s talented and dedicated students. It has operated as a permanent home for AB’s acrobatic and tumbling team, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s volleyball, wrestling, and, in the past, a regular home for the annual commencement ceremony.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) invested $1,400,000 into this project through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. This funding was used to complete the repairs and upgrades to extend the life of the building for another 50 years.
“We are so grateful to our partners at the USDA, especially Kris Warner, West Virginia State Director, USDA Rural Development, for recognizing AB’s far-reaching contributions to our state and our region,” said Dr. Barry.
During the several months-long closure, student-athletes were invited to utilize various local gyms, including public school facilities in Barbour County.
“On behalf of the Alderson Broaddus University community, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone involved in this magnificent project,” said Dr. Barry. “We can all celebrate a new and enduring friend, our beloved coliseum.”
Due to the implications of COVID-19, the Memorial Coliseum, Rex E. Pyles Arena, and the pool are not yet open to the public. For all the latest updates at AB, please visit ab.edu/news.
About Alderson Broaddus University
Alderson Broaddus University is an independent institution of higher learning, committed to serving the region as an academic, cultural, and religious resource, with programs based on a liberal arts foundation.
The mission of AB is to provide students with the highest quality education, striving to prepare students to succeed in their chosen disciplines and to fulfill their roles in a diverse society as well-rounded and responsible citizens.
Since its founding in 1871, AB has been a leader and innovator in higher education, with accolades in the health and natural sciences. Alderson Broaddus University stands out as one of the most innovative health education providers in Appalachia, pioneering the nation’s first baccalaureate physician assistant program of its kind in 1968, a post-baccalaureate physician assistant master’s degree program in 1993, and West Virginia’s first baccalaureate nursing program in 1945.
AB is located on a historic hilltop in Barbour County in Philippi, West Virginia. The University is rooted in historic and continuing relationships with the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. and the West Virginia Baptist Convention.
For more information about AB, visit www.ab.edu.