Colby's New Athletic Center (a $200million infrastructure investment)

Great news–but why a 200 meter indoor track instead of a 400 meter track ?
I suspect that the designer was not a track athlete.

I think 200 m is more common for indoor, isn’t it?

Probably, but the weather in Maine calls for lots of training indoors & a 400 meter track is better for training and puts less stress on joints. Because Colby College is in a cold weather climate & because Colby is spending $200 million on the project, it seems foolish to construct a smaller track which is terrible for middle & long distance runners who need to train indoors as well as for student use for recreational running. I experienced a few small indoor tracks & really disliked the experience & the stress of the seemingly constant curves.

FWIW, UMich has a brand new indoor track facility and the track is 200 meters. The track can be hydraulically banked for longer events. National and International events can/will be held there.

This is one reason that I prefer Southern universities as the weather is conducive to outdoor training. If you run at least 10 miles a day, running is an important part of your life. Couldn’t do 10 miles a day on a 200 meter track.

A 200 meter track would be perfect for me and my exercsie routine. :wink:

We would have been THRILLED to have a 200-meter track anywhere close when my son was a distance runner in high school. The kids literally ran down the HS halls when it was too icy to run on the streets - talk about having a hard time getting a lot of miles in. Some nights they drove all the way to the Bowdoin track to practice but didn’t get home until after 10 pm.

I just googled it. There are very, very few 400 meter indoor tracks anywhere.

Because that would cost more?

The existing indoor track at Colby has incredibly tight turns and almost room to watch, so anything is an improvement. That said, I think Colby’s new building it going to be amazing. The structure is really significant but compliments Colby’s recent baseball, softball, field hockey, soccer, etc investments. As they states, “With the goal of comprehensive excellence in athletics, Colby College is committed to making its facilities among the finest in NCAA Division III.” There’s little doubt about their commitment towards that goal.

With respect to higher cost for a 400 meter track than for a 200 meter track, it is obvious that the larger one would cost more. But it needs to be considered in the context of the overall design of the complex. With a budget of $200 million, Colby College certainly had flexibility in designing the athletic facility–so why not do it right ? (As another poster made an excellent point that there are “very, very few 400 meter indoor tracks anywhere”.

The facility looks like it will be beautiful!

The NCAA standard indoor track size is 200 meters. And there are indoor meets in the winter. So regardless of cost, how boring, how unpleasant a distance runner might find it, it’s the norm and Colby has “done it right” by making it conform to the competition standards.
Apparently, there is discretion on the actual shape but not the distance.

I will add this to the very long list of reasons that I am not a runner!

I understand that indoor tracks are 200 meters. Just making an observation. Colby College had an opportunity & made their choice. It would have been interesting to see proposed designs with a 400 meter indoor track (which is basically placing a track around a soccer / football field).

I’m sure it’s also a land use/planning matter as well. An indoor 400-meter track would certainly have a much larger footprint, which maybe a lot of schools don’t have available, especially considering other more pressing academic concerns. :smiley:

Agree that there are lots of factors to consider. I suspect that land is low cost in Waterville, Maine. If the 200 meter track includes hydraulics, then the cost of a 400 meter track may have been the same as the 200 meter track.

A 400 meter track is just a wishful thought that might have attracted a lot more students & events to otherwise off the beaten path Waterville, Maine.

Regardless, the new athletic facility should be an outstanding addition to the campus.

I understand that students and local residents would perhaps have enjoyed a 400 meter track. Or perhaps an undulating indoor XC track with VR scenery. But neither would have allowed them to host NCAA events. I am baffled by the desire for Colby to spend its money on a track that it couldn’t use in its own athletic conference.

Outdoor tracks are 400, btw, and it has one of those. I suppose it’d be interesting if it were 1600M. But nobody does that either…

400 meters is the standard for an outdoor track worldwide.

400 meter tracks are less stressful on competitive runners. Probably makes little difference to joggers or to non-competitive recreational runners. Regardless, I am not willing to argue about this. It was just a suggestion. If NCAA rules require indoor tracks to be no more than 200 meters, then that is the rule.

Colby will have New England’s only Myrtha pool, and Maine’s only Olympic-sized pool in that facility. I don’t think spending, planning or land was an issue.

Then there’s the indoor track at our Y. 17 laps to a mile! DS trained there a little but the tight turns were brutal.