By Sean Whooley
To many students who attend the University of Maryland, Cole Field House is just that old building that used to hold the basketball games before the Xfinity Center came along.
Despite that, there is still a host of people, students and alumni who aren’t too excited as they watch Cole enter its final days before its transformation into a brand new practice facility and education center in December of this year.
Cole Field House’s rich history sticks in the brains of those who have experienced it. Whether you watched the Terrapins play basketball there, played an intramural sport there yourself, or just were forced to sweat in Cole during your freshman orientation, you’ve probably had a taste of Cole. Some find it hard to imagine such a recognizable landmark being changed so drastically.
From the perspective of alumni, this is a tragic destruction of what they consider a landmark. Ed Dworkin, from the class of 1965, recalls fond memories of Cole Field House. When he was at Maryland, he took a class inside Cole and watched games there.
“Cole was hot, stuffy, and the seats were really far from the court when you watched basketball,” Dworkin said. “But there were some great games and memories made there.”
Currently, the turf fields inside Cole are used for intramurals, and those who like to play soccer in the winter at Cole aren’t pleased by the change.
“I played indoor soccer there last year,” sophomore finance major Matt Schaney said. “I was looking forward to playing there every winter but now that it’s under construction until I graduate, I don’t know if I can play soccer in the winter.”
Even students who haven’t really used Cole are upset about the closing. Justin Shapiro, a sophomore environmental science major who grew up in Maryland and had parents who both attended the university during Cole’s prime, doesn’t want to see the original building go.
“It’s cool that the football team gets a new facility,” Shapiro said. “I just wish it didn’t come at the expense of Cole. I feel like that’s a lot of history we’re losing.”
Despite the improvements that the new Cole will bring, such as new practice facilities for Maryland Athletics and new centers for educational purposes, the changes made to a Maryland landmark will not go unnoticed, especially since the project isn’t supposed to completely finish until 2018.