The new four-lane bowling alley in Boylan Gymnasium began construction and is expected to be completed by mid-May.
Plans for the bowling alley began in spring 2013 and were said to be completed by Aug. 2013, according to Patricia Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services. There have not been any major changes from the original plan, she said.
Once completed, the lanes will be open to the University bowling team as well as the student population for events, competitions and recreation, said Swannack. The bowling alley will also be open to the surrounding community.
Dr. Marilyn McNeil, Vice President and Director of Athletics, said the existence of a bowling alley on campus will lead to faculty participation and Greek life events. There is also the possibility of potential physical education classes for students.
“The addition of this bowling alley is going to be a great asset to all Monmouth University students,” said Kevin Gilsenan, President of Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE). “The brothers of Tau Kappa Epsilon especially look forward to utilizing it in the near future for events benefitting our philanthropy, St. Jude’s Children Hospital.”
The funds for the lanes were donated by Patrick Ciniello, a University alumnus who graduated in 1967. Ciniello was the former president and chairman of the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame. His interest in bowling inspired the idea to build the bowling alley on campus.
Currently there is not a men’s bowling team at the University but Kaylin Grannis, a senior and member of the women’s bowling team hopes that the lanes create interest among students and possibly inspire them to create a men’s team. “Hopefully this will encourage others to look at the sport as more than just a hobby,” said Grannis.
According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), men’s bowling is not recognized as an official sport. However, colleges recognize men’s bowling as a sport, therefore a men’s team is possible.
The University women’s bowling team is ranked at number 18 on the NCAA’s media poll with an 18-17 record. This past season they traveled to tournaments in PA, DE, VA, FL, TX, and TN as well as other NJ locations.
Grannis believes that having lanes on campus will be more convenient for the team. The bowling team practices four days a week during the season between October and April. Currently, their bowling venue is the Bradley Bowl, located in Bradley Beach.
“Right now we have to work around another bowling center’s hours in order to practice,” Grannis said, which can become difficult for the team.
“The bowling alley is going to have top of the line equipment that is going to allow us to have a more productive practice,” Grannis said. “[It] is going to have open hours for the students on campus to enjoy as well.”
The bowling team will also have more storage for their equipment once the lanes are completed, which the team is also looking forward to.
Grannis explained how rare it is for a college or University to have bowling lanes on campus. “There are a lot of NCAA Bowling programs that do not have lanes on campus and to be able to say we are able to have them is an amazing feeling,” said Grannis. “We are very lucky to have an athletic department that supports the growth of the sport and our program.”
The lanes have not yet become a big topic of conversation on campus, according to McNeil. “As far as faculty and student response, I am not sure there is a great deal of knowledge about the project,” said McNeil. “Once it is up and running, I am 100 percent sure there will be an overwhelming positive response to the project and the opportunity to bowl right on campus.”
PHOTO TAKEN from commonwealthfoundation.org