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Gannon University to host final game in Highmark Events Center before launch of modernization project

Published: 12/19/2023

Construction is anticipated to be completed in spring of 2025. During this time, games will be held at Cathedral Preparatory School’s Hagerty Family Events Center.

Construction is anticipated to be completed in spring of 2025. During this time, games will be held at Cathedral Preparatory School’s Hagerty Family Events Center.

Don’t miss the chance to witness the excitement in Gannon University’s Highmark Events Center for a final game before its transformation begins.

Tuesday, Dec. 19 will be an exclusive night of thrilling basketball action as the Gannon Golden Knights face off against West Chester, with the women’s game starting at 5:30 p.m. and the men’s game starting at 7:30 p.m. All Gannon staff, faculty and students will receive complimentary general admission to both games. 

There will be special activities, giveaways and a visit from Victor E. Knight. Gannon memorabilia will be on display, along with a sneak peek at the exciting plans for the Highmark Events Center modernization project.  

Home to Golden Knight teams since the basketball programs began there during the 1949-50 season, the facility was originally known as the Gannon Auditorium, and affectionately referred to as “The Audi” by longtime Gannon faithful fans. The facility was rededicated and renamed the Hammermill Center – “The Mill” – in February of 1983 in honor of the wonderful generosity of the then Hammermill Paper Co. The university celebrated the official renaming of the Highmark Events Center in February 2022, partnering with Highmark in a 10-year agreement that includes major renovations to the athletic center.   

Since then, it has drawn crowds of up to 2,800 people not only for athletic events but for many other community lectures, concerts, camps events and programs. Enhancements to the space will bring together a vibrant blend of nostalgia and innovation.  

"As we embark on this exciting journey to modernize Gannon's Highmark Events Center, we're not just upgrading a venue, we're transforming the very heartbeat of our athletic legacy and opening the door for academic and community events,” said Walter Iwanenko, Ph.D., President of Gannon University. “These enhancements are more than cosmetic; they’re about creating a stage where our athletes shine even brighter. It’s a makeover that speaks to our legacy, embraces the present and sets the stage for an even more dynamic future.” 

Updates will include a reimagined ticketing entrance and lobby with digital displays to highlight building history, athletic hall of fame recipients and accomplishments of student-athletes. New locker rooms tailored for men's and women's basketball, along with women's volleyball, are in the pipeline, complete with upgraded amenities and cutting-edge technology for student-athletes. Proposed facilities for visiting teams and referees, as well as new offices for the coaching staff, are part of the upcoming changes.  

Plans also include the creation of a "hype hallway" to elevate the excitement for student-athletes before games. A more accessible sports medicine room is in the works to prioritize student-athlete well-being. Revamped media and radio broadcasting areas, innovative digital scorer's table, upgraded sound, lighting, and HVAC systems are among the proposed improvements. Additionally, a prominent student section is in the planning stages to enhance student engagement. 

Construction is anticipated to be completed in spring of 2025. During this time, games will be held at Cathedral Preparatory School’s Hagerty Family Events Center. 

This project is a signature of Gannon’s Believe, Inspire. Transform. Gannon’s Next Century campaign, adding to rapid progress towards the $100 million goal. For additional details on the project and renovations or to support the campaign efforts, please visit https://campaign.gannon.edu/.   

All media inquiries can be made by contacting Haley Figurski, Media Relations and Marketing Manager, at 814-823-1886.