Zelnak Center

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Front of the Zelnak Center

The Zelnak Center is located on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology between the intersection of Fowler Street and 8th Street in Atlanta, Georgia. It was opened in October of 2009 and is now the new state of the art practice facility for the men's and women's basketball teams. The Zelnak Center includes one full sized court with eight baskets, a 24-seat theater for video instruction, and a weight room.


Contents

Location

The Zelnak Center is located on the east side of the Georgia Tech campus. It is connected to the southeast side of the well known Alexander Memorial Coliseum where every home basketball game takes place. Its surroundings consist of mostly athletic fields and buildings. The center is directly across from the O'Keefe Gymnasium, where volleyball games take, place and the Griffen Track, where the men's and women's track and field teams practice and compete. It is also a block away from fraternity and sorority row. The Zelnak Center is also conveniently located right off of interstate 75/85 and is only a short way from Atlantic Station.

History

Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Zelnak Center on April 9, 2009

The institution built the new basketball practice facility to improve the basketball program as a whole and to allow for more flexibility with classes and practice times. Freshman Gym, the location of basketball practices before the opening of the Zelnak Center, was completely outdated. The Zelnak Center provides the team with the "best resources available to refine their skills year round."[1] It also provides convenience for coaches and players because the men's and women's basketball teams are able to practice, lift weights, and watch films all under one roof. This allows for a lot of flexibility of practice times, so practice is no longer held at odd hours. The basketball teams had made a case about the difficulty they were having trying to schedule practices: "the academic problems as well as the practice problems," so this facility was built with that in mind and to fix those problems, and it did just that. This facility also improves recruiting because it will bring players and parents in to see how this facility can help them fully develop. [2]


The groundbreaking for the Zelnak Center occurred on April 9, 2009. President George P. "Bud" Peterson, Steve Zelnak, his wife Judy Zelnak, the women's basketball coach MaChelle Joseph, the men's basketball coach Paul Hewitt, and Georgia Tech's athletic director Dan Radakovich attended the groudbreaking. The Zelnak Center officially opened just in time for preseason to start in October of 2009. The building was dedicated to Stephen Zelnak because his donation was the lead gift for the facility. [3]

The Building Itself

The aim in constructing the Zelnak Center was to allow "flexibility with practice times to help the student-athletes excel on the court as well as in the classroom." [4] Costing $8 million to build, the Zelnak Center is a 20,000 square foot basketball practice facility. Heery International was the architect of this project, and Gay Construction Company of Atlanta was the contractor. [5] The Zelnak Center was built in a span of six months and includes one full size court with eight baskets, a full theater for video instruction and a 2,500 square foot weight room. [6]


The weight room is a 2,500 square foot facility for the men's and women's basketball teams. The facility features power lift machines and other various trainers, such as squat press machines. There is also a cardio area that supplies everything from treadmills to bikes and strides. The facility also has a nutrition area where, muscle milks and protein bars are given to athletes after workouts.

Dedication to Stephen Zelnak

Stephen Zelnak

Stephen was born in Savannah, Georgia, and grew up in Aiken, South Carolina, for most of his life. He always knew he wanted to go to Georgia Tech because his Uncle, whom he was very close with, is an alumni there. While attending Tech, he worked at Stan's Sandwich Shop on North Avenue, and he brokered a newspaper distributorship on campus, where he hired fellow students to solicit and deliver subscriptions to the Atlanta Journal and the Atlanta Constitution.[7]


The Zelnak Center was a gift from Stephen and Judy Zelnak, also whom the building is named after. Stephen Zelnak, an avid basketball fan and a former competitive player, graduated from Georgia Tech in 1969 with a degree in Industrial Management. He began working at Martin Marietta, which was originally a $140 million dollar company, and by the time he retired in June 2010, he was the CEO of the highly profitable company that had become worth $2.2 billion dollars. He helped Martin Marietta Materials grow into one of the three largest aggregate businesses in the nation.[8]


Stephen and his wife, Judy, donated $4.5 million towards the construction of the $8.5 million Zelnak facility. He attends many of the football and basketball games home and away, always rooting for Georgia Tech.


Stephen Zelnak is now a multi-millionaire retired CEO who serves on multiple advisory boards at both Georgia Tech and North Carolina State. He is a current member of the Georgia Tech Advisory Board, the Georgia Tech Foundation Board of Trustees, and the Campaign Steering Committee. He also previously served on the College of Management Dean's Advisory Board and the Alumni Association Board of Trustees. His previous commitment established the Stephen P. Zelnak Jr. Dean's Chair in the College of Management. [9] He also sponsors a professorship in NC State's College of Management, he is on the advisory board and also on the board of visitors. [10]

References


  1. Zelnak Center. In Georgia Tech. Retrieved November 19, 2010 from http://www.whistle.gatech.edu/archives/07/jan/29/zelnackcenter.shtml
  2. Zelnak Center. In Georgia Tech. Retrieved November 19, 2010 from http://ramblinwreck.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/040909aab.html
  3. Zelnak Center. In Georgia Tech. Retrieved November 19, 2010 from http://www.whistle.gatech.edu/archives/09/apr/27/zelnak.shtml
  4. Zelnak Center. In Georgia Tech. Retrieved November 19, 2010 from http://www.whistle.gatech.edu/archives/07/jan/29/zelnackcenter.shtml
  5. Zelnak Center. In Georgia Tech. Retrieved November 19, 2010 from http://www.wctv.tv/sports/headlines/46096757.html
  6. Zelnak Center. In Georgia Tech. Retrieved November 19, 2010 from http://volleyball.insidegtathletics.com/index.php?item_id=1100
  7. Zelnak Center. In Georgia Tech. Retrieved November 19, 2010 from http://www.ajc.com/sports/georgia-tech/steve-zelnak-techs-no-618625.html
  8. Zelnak Center. In Georgia Tech. Retrieved November 19, 2010 from http://www.ajc.com/sports/georgia-tech/steve-zelnak-techs-no-618625.html
  9. Zelnak Center. In Georgia Tech. Retrieved November 19, 2010 from http://ramblinwreck.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/zelnak.html
  10. Zelnak Center. In Georgia Tech. Retrieved November 19, 2010 from http://www.ajc.com/sports/georgia-tech/steve-zelnak-techs-no-618625.html

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