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Creighton gets new athletic facility

Creighton University in Omaha broke ground Oct. 16 for a new athletics center on campus at the northeast corner of Webster Street and Florence Boulevard.

Made possible by donations from Wayne and Eileen Ryan and family, and Dave and Peggy Sokol, The Ryan Athletics Center and D.J. Sokol Arena, a 46,000-square-foot facility, will house a gymnasium seating 2,500-3,000, women's basketball and volleyball coaches' offices, locker rooms, ticket offices, athletic training and meeting rooms, media workrooms and much more.

The arena also is expected to be used for other campus and community events including student assemblies, coaching camps/clinics, concerts, speakers and high school graduations.

"Board members Connie Ryan and Dave Sokol, and their families, are united in embracing the university's master plan and accelerated our efforts to make this center and arena a reality," said Father John Schlegel, SJ, university president. "They felt the timing was right not only to make a difference at Creighton but to continue the renaissance of making the corridor from the riverfront to the Creighton University Medical Center an academic, athletic and entertainment district."

Wayne and Eileen Ryan and their family have been longtime supporters of Creighton University. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Streck Laboratories, Inc., began his career teaching at Creighton, before pursuing his passion for research that led to the founding of his company.

Dave and Peggy Sokol will be honoring their son D.J. Sokol, who died following a battle with Hodgkin's disease, by naming the gymnasium the D.J. Sokol Arena.

Sokol serves as chairman and CEO of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company and recently served on Creighton University's Board of Directors.

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