In 1978-1979, a Valparaiso University student survey circulated which identified an overwhelming student-felt need for improved recreational facilities on campus. This was the birth of the Athletics-Recreation Center (ARC). This survey was followed in 1979 by a comprehensive University-wide study by the Council on University Priorities and Planning.
Subsequently, a program of needs was developed by a campus committee. The Valpo Board of Directors then designated the ARC as a priority capital component of Valparaiso University, thus a national comprehensive effort to raise $50 million in support of the University. Ground was broken for the ARC on April 23, 1983.
The $7.25 million Athletics-Recreation Center added 84,000 square feet of new construction to the existing facility, thereby providing at one site a complex of over 142,000 square feet for physical education, athletics, and recreational activities.
The new building was designed with primary emphasis on supplementing the already existing recreational areas. It contains: seven playing floors for basketball and volleyball; a free play area for recreational basketball, volleyball, and other activities; a nine-lap per mile running track; six racquetball/handball courts; classrooms and lounges; and a coed training room.
The ARC arena currently has 5,000 seats and will accommodate over 5,400. The arena is complemented by an attractive entrance, lobbies, ticket offices, and permanent display cases.
Since the original completion of the ARC, renovation of the existing facility has provided upgraded facilities for all Valpo students and faculty, including a new weight room, classrooms, locker rooms, and staff offices.
New fitness studios for students, faculty, and staff were constructed during 2010, and the Mosak Performance Center was created as a weight room facility for varsity athletes. Most recently, the arena underwent an upgrade in the summer of 2011, as a four-sided full color video display board was installed above center court. New side scoreboards were also installed, as well as new shot clocks and LED lights around the backboards.
On Sunday afternoon, December 9, 1984, Notre Dame's Fighting Irish visited Valparaiso and provided the opposition for the ARC's dedication game in men's basketball. The ARC was also the site of Valpo's dramatic upset of then 19th-ranked Notre Dame in 1988, played in front of 4,913 overjoyed fans.
The 1984-1985 season also marked the first season of play for the Crusader women's basketball team in the ARC. The volleyball team began playing its home matches at the ARC in 1985 as well.
The ARC has hosted several postseason sporting events, including the CollegeInsider.com men’s basketball tournament (2011) and the Horizon League Men’s Basketball Championship (2012 & 2013). It has also hosted early-round action in the Horizon League men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, as well as Mid-Continent Conference men’s basketball, women’s basketball and volleyball tournaments.
The court bears the name Homer Drew Court, in honor of Dr. Homer Drew, Valpo’s all-time winningest coach. Dedicated in October of 2010, Homer Drew Court honors a coach who led the Crusaders to 371 wins in his time at the helm, as well as seven NCAA Tournament appearances, including a run to the Sweet 16 in 1998.