On the evening of March 19, 1949, a three-alarm fire severely damaged Howard Hall. The loss amounted to nearly $50,000, including the new baseball suits and equipment just purchased a few days earlier. Much of the interior — dressing rooms, training rooms, and equipment rooms were thoroughly destroyed and considerable damage was done to the basketball court. But not enough to require replacement. Durable Howard Hall, built for $99,000 in 1927, saw the roof collapse over the swimming pool after heavy snow in 1937; the pool actually freezing over in February 1949; and suffered flooding in 1982 when a steam pipe broke in the gymnasium area. A survivor.
This year, eighty-seven years after Howard Hall was built, groundbreaking for the new Beauchamp Recreation and Wellness Center will take place in May 2014. This long-awaited facility is expected to become a dynamic focus of student life on campus. Building design plans call for modern, up-to-date equipment and space to accommodate a growing campus community. Proposed rooms for the Beauchamp Center include a fitness center, gymnasium, indoor track, two exercise studios and a spin studio, climbing wall, outdoor pursuits center, and more.