Mount Mercy University hosts athletic center grand opening

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) Staff at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids hope a new athletics complex will lead to more community involvement.

The Rinderknecht Athletic Center is along 17th Street Northeast. It's an old warehouse turned wellness center.

The university held a grand opening ceremony on Friday night.

There are batting cages, putting greens and a spring track on one side of the building.

The other includes fitness and cardio areas.

Student athletes are already taking advantage of this training space. And all students are welcome to use the facilities.

President of Mount Mercy University Laurie Hamen said there are plans to expand invitations to the public, and soon.

"We also really want to share it with the community so we have a program starting this summer called Jump Start for kids in this neighborhood," Hamen said.

The center is across the street from baseball fields. The University has put a lot of resources into growing its athletics facilities in recent years.

A Mount Mercy trustee, John Rinderknecht, donated a large sum of money. That gift paid for the renovation.