Loyola’s new basketball and volleyball practice facility, the Alfie Norville Practice Facility, officially opened its doors at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Aug. 25.
The facility is located next to Mertz Residence Hall on Loyola Avenue. Allan Norville, a 1959 Loyola graduate, donated a majority of the $18.5 million for the facility and named the building after his late wife, Alfena.
The practice facility, which has been nicknamed “The Alfie,” has one regulation-size basketball court and two full volleyball courts on the first and third floors. The second floor has an entrance from a skywalk between The Alfie and the Norville Center for Intercollegiate Athletics, and a window overlooking the first-floor court for a better vantage point.
There’s also an exercise science lab classroom and a film study room. Athletes will primarily have access to The Alfie, but athletics department officials said the $18.5 million facility will benefit the entire student body. The basketball and volleyball teams have sometimes been forced to practice in the Halas Recreation Center, which takes space away from the rest of the student population.
The building has a brick exterior and inside, the brick is exposed in some spots as an homage to Alumni Gym, where Loyola basketball and volleyball played from 1923-1996. There are also eight basketball hoops on each floor — six along the walls and two on each end of the courts.
Sean Earl Field, which is located next to The Alfie, was also renovated as part of the construction. Unlike the practice facility, the turf field — which will be equipped with a running track — is accessible for all Loyola students and Rogers Park residents.
Construction on The Alfie started in May 2018 and wrapped up on schedule in late August, Loyola Athletics said. Athletics Director Steve Watson confirmed the project was also completed on budget.
Athletes had done some light workouts before the ribbon-cutting, but teams are now able to conduct full practices in The Alfie.