The $1.9 million complete facility renovation of Spring Arbor University’s (SAU) McDonald Athletic Center (MAC) was completed and celebrated through a community dedication on May 16, 2019. The MAC, renamed to honor the late Spring Arbor High School and Junior College coach and teacher Donald “Mac” McDonald, has been the home of SAU Athletics for 42 years. Renovations to the MAC include updates to the gymnasium, improvements to exterior aesthetics, improved women’s and men’s locker rooms and a brand-new lobby entrance featuring former hall-of-fame athletes as well as accomplishments from current SAU athletic teams.
The complete transformation of the MAC would not be possible without support from several significant donors, including the lead gift from Charlie and alumna Beth (McDonald HS ’61, JC ’63, ‘65) Kuntzleman, as well as the sponsorship from American 1 Credit Union, which allowed for the improvement of the arena within the MAC.
“The improved facility will undoubtedly increase visibility and improve our ability to recruit top-flight student athletes,” commented Athletic Director and Head Men’s Basketball Coach Ryan Cottingham.
Renovations to the arena include:
- Improved safety and functionality with the addition of new bleachers that create arena-style seating.
- Resurfaced hardwood gym floor used for men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball.
- Upgraded sound system, scoreboard and LED video display to improve fan experience.
- Improved training room and team laundry equipment and renovation of public restrooms.
- New VIP suite for donors and visitors.
Speaking at the dedication celebration, Martha Fuerstenau, CEO of American 1 Credit Union, remarked, “We are excited to partner with the University with this gift for the naming of the arena because we think it’s a good idea to support what you support. SAU graduates are perfect hires for American 1 Credit Union because we need big thinkers and lifelong learners. We need people who are ethically minded and have a servant’s heart; we have recruited and employed SAU graduates for decades, for this very reason.”
“The newly renovated McDonald Athletic Center will offer the best possible experience for our athletes,” said SAU President Dr. Brent Ellis. “We are extremely thankful for the generosity of Charlie and Beth Kuntzleman, who provided the lead gift for this project. The SAU community will benefit for years to come, thanks to the generosity of the donors who contributed to this project.”