Nov 12, 2020
FGCU Opens Sublett Family Strength & Conditioning Center

Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) held its official dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony of its state-of-the-art weight room attached to Alico Arena this week.

The Sublett Family Strength & Conditioning Center can accommodate more than 100 student-athletes at a time and officially opened its doors at the start of the 2020-21 academic school year, according to an issued press release from the university.

Photo: Florida Gulf Coast University athletics department

The main area of the center spans 8,760 square feet and includes 860 square feet of office space. In the weight room itself, there are 28,500 pounds worth of weights while the strength and conditioning staff is equipped with iPads loaded with special software to display and record workouts at each station.

“It’s an impressive facility when you walk inside,” FGCU women’s basketball coach Karl Smesko said in the press release. “We have a great university and a beautiful campus with great athletic programs. And now we have a first-rate weight room that is a big part of team development because that’s something recruits are looking for.”

The addition of the weight room was made possible through a million-dollar donation from Jim and Donna Sublett, who’ve both have made sizeable donations and charitable events to the American Heart Association. FGCU’s new weight room is part of overall improvements to Alico Arena that included the additions of the Schreiner Family Sports Medicine Center, the Hartley Academic Resource Center, enhanced Beal Athletics Offices, and a state-of-the-art film room for the coaches.

The third phase of the capital improvement project will be to upgrade FGCU’s athletic programs’ locker rooms.

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The Sublett connection to FGCU goes back even further to the basketball programs’ founding games in TECO Arena in 2002-03, before Alico was completed. Over the years the couple – which has had combined professional success in education, electronics, and home construction with roles in Black & Decker, McGraw-Edison, Toastmaster, and First Home Builders – has funded several scholarships for men’s and women’s basketball.

“That’s why we wanted the fitness center,” Donna Sublett said of the couple choosing that for naming rights in the Alico expansion, according to the press release.

To read the full press release from Florida Gulf Coast University on its brand-new weight center, click here

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