Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo will celebrate two historic events for its athletic programs Wednesday (August 21), opening its new gymnasium, and hosting the first competition as a member of the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC).

Indiana University Kokomo GymnasiumIndiana University Kokomo Gymnasium

Festivities begin with a tailgate at 5:30 p.m. at the gym, at the corner of Apperson Way and Superior Street in downtown Kokomo. The Cougar women's volleyball team takes on Rochester College at 7 p.m., in the first of two games.

"We are proud to invite our friends, supporters, and the community to come see our beautiful new gym," said Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke. "This is a way to showcase our new athletic facilities, and show that IU Kokomo is growing and moving into the future. We appreciate the community support and partnerships that have made this facility a reality."

The tailgate and games are free and open to the public.

Brandon Podgorski, athletic director, said the athletes are happy to have their own gym, and excited to compete in their conference in their second year in the NAIA.

"It's great to have a home of our own," he said. "It's going to help us in recruiting and branding IU Kokomo. We're as much a part of IU as any other campus, and I hope we can use athletics to show this is a great place to earn a degree," Podgorski said. "I'm eager to get our athletes into this gym and to start playing."

The gym is part of Kokomo's historic Memorial Gym, a legend among Indiana athletic facilities. Sciame-Giesecke partnered with Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight and the city council members and Kokomo Schools Superintendent Jeff Hauswald and his school board members to convert the former swimming pool into a college regulation basketball court.

It will be home to the women's volleyball team and men's basketball team, and in the future will host a women's basketball team. The campus also has men's and women's cross country teams.

IU Kokomo began team sports three years ago, and joined the NAIA in 2012. It was admitted to the KIAC in May 2013.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.