Florida Southern College Breaks Ground on State-of-the-Art Adams Athletic Performance Center

Aug 1, 2022

by FSC Staff

Florida Southern College broke ground for the Adams Athletic Performance Center, the newest building to be constructed on campus. Named for Trustee Robert J. Adams and his wife, Ginny, the Center will be crucial in recruiting and retaining talented student-athletes.

Designed to provide approximately 16,000 square feet of additional space for the College's NCAA Division II athletic programs, this facility will impact over 550 student-athletes on campus.

“Bob and Ginny Adams have taken a leadership role with their transformational gift to the College to support our athletic programs” said Anne B. Kerr, president of FSC. “Together with their son, Joel, and his wife Kelly, we can now better support our student-athletes as they work towards their next national championship. FSC has 30 national championships and is excited about continuing our scholar-athlete winning tradition.”

(Left to right) Jason Rodda ‘02, Trustee; Abby Rodda ’03; Dr. Katherine Loh, Faculty Athletic Representative; Jack Harrell III; Connie Bovay; Jack Harrell Jr.; Bob Adams, Trustee; Ginny Adams; Dr. Anne B. Kerr, President; Robert L. Fryer, Jr. ‘70, Chairman of the Board of Trustees; Joel Adams ’93; Kelly Adams; Barney Barnett ’65 Trustee; Drew Howard, Director of Athletics and Dean of Wellness; Bishop Bob Fannin ‘58, Trustee; Mocsie.

The Adams Athletic Performance Center, first announced in the fall of 2019, will provide a 5,000 square foot varsity weight room, a 40 person theatre for film review, a conference room that overlooks Lake Hollingsworth, as well as an academic center. The facility will also include office suites for women’s and men’s basketball, as well as women’s and men’s lacrosse, while also providing a state-of-the-art women’s lacrosse locker room.

Artist's Rendering from the West

This unique space has been designed by architect and Frank Lloyd Wright scholar M. Jeffrey Baker of the firm Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker of Albany, N.Y. Mr. Baker has been the lead architect for the College's restorations of Wright's historic structures. His original designs for the FSC campus include the Sharon and Jim France Admissions Center (2018) and Carole and Marcus Weinstein Computer Sciences Center (2021).

Rodda Construction of Lakeland will build the new Adams Athletic Performance Center and the College anticipates opening the space in the spring of 2024.

“There is such intense competition not only to attract athletes, but to keep them here,” said Bob Adams, shortly after the groundbreaking ceremony. “I am confident that this project will be huge jewel in the future of Florida Southern athletics.”

As a Trustee of the College, Bob Adams has served on and chaired various committees, including the intercollegiate athletics committee. He was inducted into the Florida Southern College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011, and has been unwavering in his support. Together with his son Joel ‘93, a Distinguished Alumnus of FSC, they founded Highland Homes in 1996, with a foundation of quality, excellence, while delivering the most satisfying home buying experience on earth.

“We’re excited for the completion of the Adams Athletic Performance Center that will benefit all of our student-athletes here at Florida Southern College,” Director of Athletics and Dean of Wellness Drew Howard said. “This new state-of-the-art facility will give our current strength and conditioning coaches the ability to fully train our student-athletes so they can get the best results possible on the court, field, or track. The facility will also give our coaches another edge in recruiting. We are grateful for Robert and Ginny Adams for this tremendous gift to Florida Southern and we can’t wait to get our teams in there right away to continue to build on Florida Southern’s legacy.”

The Moccasins already boast one of the top NCAA Division II athletic programs in the nation, capturing 30 NCAA team national championships, and 27 individual national championships. In all, FSC student-athletes have earned All-America status 1,038 times, and Academic All-America honors 92 times.

“On behalf of all of our Florida Southern coaches, I would like to thank the Adams Family and our other generous supporters for all you do for our athletics program,” said Mike Donnelly, head coach of the men’s basketball team. “This new Center will have a tremendous impact on so many of our current student-athletes, and it will also have a lasting impact on thousands and thousands of future Mocs for many years to come.”

To make room for the new Adams Athletic Performance Center, the L. N. Pipkin Bandshell was removed. Constructed in 1941 and named for one of the College's earliest trustees, the space once served as a gathering place for students and members of the Lakeland community to enjoy musical events.