The Steven A. Adler Athletic Complex is home to Penn State Altoona's NCAA Division III varsity athletics program. It also acts as the hub for the campus' intramural, recreation, and club sports programs, and it is the home of the college's four-year Kinesiology degree program.
The Adler Athletic Complex was constructed in 1972 to serve as the campus’ center for sports and recreation. The original building consisted of a gymnasium and locker rooms, and a renovation project in 1978 added additional locker rooms, racquetball courts, a swimming pool, and a multi-purpose space. At that time, Penn State Altoona’s enrollment was approximately 2,000 students, and Adler’s amenities were more than enough to support the campus community.
As the college grew in the following years, Adler became insufficient at meeting the needs of its students, staff, and faculty. By 1997, Penn State Altoona had resurrected its intercollegiate athletics program, and by 2014, the department had expanded to sponsor 14 NCAA Division III varsity sports teams. Additionally, a rising enrollment that approached 4,000 students demanded the need for larger fitness and weight training facilities, more space to support recreational and intramural activities, and classrooms and offices to support the addition of Kinesiology as a four-year degree program at the campus.
As Penn State Altoona’s administration made a serious push for major improvements to Adler, the school’s hopes began to turn into reality on November 20, 2015, when plans and funding for an Adler Athletic Complex renovation and expansion project were officially approved by the Penn State Board of Trustees. That decision gave Penn State Altoona the green light to move forward with a project to renovate the existing building while adding large new sections to it.
In August 2017, the first of three phases of construction on the Adler project was completed. The completion of phase one allowed for the opening of some key aspects of the facility to the Penn State Altoona campus community, including the Adler Arena and the existing auxiliary gym, the Athletics department office suite, the Reliance Bank Fitness Center, and the Kinesiology wing.
The final two phases of construction -- which include the swimming pool and tennis courts -- are expected to be completed by the end of December 2017.