Marietta College boathouse renovations finished

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MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) UPDATE 10/17/2016 4:30 PM

In June, we told you the Marietta College boathouse renovations were set to be complete by the college's homecoming.

Homecoming was this past weekend, and the boathouse was finally unveiled.

The second floor was completely torn down and renovated.

It now has a large room that will have rowing machines, locker rooms and space for the athletes to train.

It also features a conference room where athletes can study and a brand new Dad Vail trophy room.

Coaches say it's a huge asset to the team and whole community.

"It's a lot more comfortable. It's a lot more open. It shows that the school is invested in them and they want them to do well and they want them to succeed," says men's rowing coach, Philip Schmehl.

"I think it's great that the alums have done this for the program. This was all alumni funded and we can't thank them enough. It's really just, the program and through our recruiting, trying to get the program back to where it's been in the past," says women's rowing coach, Brad Hemmerly.

They also want to use the boathouse for weddings and other events in the community.

If you've driven down Gilman Avenue in Marietta, you may have noticed some construction on the Marietta College boathouse.

The college is doing a complete renovation of the second floor.

The first floor was renovated this fall, with new doors and fencing.

The second floor will have new locker rooms, a meeting room and extra space that will make it flexible for other events as well.

The college says it will be an asset for not only the rowing program, but the whole community.

"It's a very historic building in town. This has been here for a long time, so we're very fortunate that we have the ability to do this and. Rowing, while it's becoming a much popular sport, for a college we're still one of the few, especially in this part of the country that has it. This is just a great addition for the community and great addition for the college. When this project is done I think people will really notice it and it will be beneficial," says Marietta College Executive Director of Strategic Communication and Marketing, Tom Perry.

Perry says the goal is to rent out the boathouse for weddings and other gatherings.

The cost of the project is $850,000, paid for completely with alumni donations.

Construction should be done by the college's homecoming in October.

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