|Location||1009 Union Street
Valparaiso, IN 46383
|Broke ground||April 23, 1983|
|Opened||November 27, 1984|
|Construction cost||$7.25 million
($16.5 million in 2014 dollars)
|Architect||Daverman Associates, Inc.|
The Athletics–Recreation Center, also known as the ARC, is a 5,000-seat multi-purpose arena on the campus of Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana, United States. It serves as the home court for Valparaiso Crusaders men's and women's basketball teams as well as the volleyball team. It opened in 1984 as an addition to Hilltop Gym, the oldest parts of which date to 1939 and are among the first facilities built at the university after it was purchased by the Lutherans. The original building had previously been expanded in 1962 to include more seating for basketball and a swimming pool on the first floor. Hilltop Gym was home for Valpo basketball when it competed in the NCAA's former College Division, for smaller schools. Notable individuals to appear in Hilltop include Larry Bird during his collegiate career at Indiana State, and Robert F. Kennedy, who gave a speech in the gym during his presidential campaign.
Beginning in the late 1970s it was decided that Valpo needed to expand its basketball facilities again, and in 1984, the $7.25 million expansion on the north side of the gym, named the Athletics and Recreation Center, was completed. The men's basketball team played their first game there on November 27, 1984 against Western Michigan University. The men's basketball team played their dedication game there on December 9, 1984 against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The greatest upset in the ARC occurred four years later against this same team, when Valpo defeated the 19th ranked Fighting Irish in front of 4,913 fans. In 1995 the ARC hosted the finals of the Mid-Continent Conference men’s basketball tournament. Since that time a number of smaller renovations have occurred in and around the facility. In the fall of 1999 the men's and women's coaching staffs moved into the new Schrage Basketball Wing, added to the east side of the main arena.
In 2005 the old Hilltop Gym on the south side of the building was renovated with new flooring, lighting, windows and numerous banners celebrating Valpo's basketball tradition. It is now used as a practice facility for the men's and women's basketball teams. In 2006 the weight lifting facilities were rearranged with athletes now having access to the Mosak Performance Center, a refurbished room in the building with new customized weight lifting equipment. The ARC's capacity can easily be increased by adding bleachers to the East side which is usually left open. Also the building architects, Barton-Malow Company, left the north side of the building ammenable to future expansion. The largest crowd in school history was for a game against the (then-ranked 10th) Butler University Bulldogs on February 5, 2008. The attendance was 5,432 fans , barely enough to eclipse the total of 5,425 in attendance for the November 16th, 2001 meeting between Valpo and the Purdue University Boilermakers . Future improvements to the facility have been floated but none are in the works for the near future.
The venue hosted the 2012 Horizon League Men's Basketball Tournament finals.