Bruce Daniels, assistant director of operations of the Al Lawson Center, used one word to describe Florida A&M’s multipurpose teaching gymnasium: “Multi-Purpose.”
The Al Lawson Center, or new gym as many FAMU students refer to it, is a four-court gymnasium in which the girls volleyball as well as men’s and women’s basketball teams host intercollegiate games.
Although many people come to the Al Lawson Center for sports contests, the multipurpose gym has many amenities and sectors that might not garnish much attention. The Al Lawson Center, which finished construction in 2009, was built with classrooms to ensure that education was still FAMU’s top priority.
“I think it’s a great look for the athletic department as well as the university,” said Tamicka Johnson, a fourth year Public Relations student from Queens, New York. Johnson, who currently is taking a course that meets in the Al Lawson Center, felt all classes should be like those held in the Lawson Center.
With the new look of the classrooms, the uniqueness of this gymnasium has elevated the sprits of FAMU students. Since a variety of classes are being offered in the Al Lawson Center, students can now enjoy class in a state of the art arena.
“This facility is an academic facility,” said Thomas Cavano, director of activities in the Al Lawson Center.
Though education was an intricate part in the construction of the gym, Cavano felt the most unique thing about the gym was simply its design.
“You are just impressed with the look and size,” Cavano said when addressing the architectural design.
A four court arena, the AL Lawson Center was designed to seat more than 9,000 people.
Numbers became important once Jake Gaither (the previously used gym) could no longer accommodate all the people for sporting events and other activities. The $40 million arena is the second largest gymnasium in Tallahassee and has enough room to add luxuries in places not seen.
The Al Lawson Center also has enough room to hold events such as the President’s Convocation as well as FAMU’s “One Stop Shop” registration, which was held August 18 through the 25.
Although concerts and media productions are the main source of income for the Al Lawson Center, the overall purpose remains the same.
Commencement ceremonies are held in the AL Lawson Center each semester, proving that its overall purpose is to make sure students are on the path for successful education.
Providing students the opportunity to succeed on the court as well as the classroom, proves the Al Lawson Center is more than just a gym.