OSKALOOSA—William Penn University hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception Wednesday for the newly updated Statesmen Lanes and Community Event Center.

Statesmen Lanes, formerly known as Mahaska Bowl, is the home site for the William Penn University Bowling programs and Oskaloosa Schools Bowling Teams. The ribbon cutting ceremony was at 4:30 p.m.

The center has recently undergone quite a facelift including branded signage, fresh carpet, a remodeled basement lounge, and updated paint – sporting colors for both the Oskaloosa Indians and WPU Statesmen.

William Penn Athletic Director Nik Rule said the idea was not just to re-brand, but to also reinvest for the benefit of both the university and the community.

“As the university has taken over ownership, one goal has been to re-brand Mahaska Bowl and create a cutting edge recreational facility that can serve not just our students, including our bowlers, but also the community into the future,” said Rule.

Students will get opportunities to help staff the new facility through a work study program, even if they are not on the bowling team. There will also be employment opportunities for community members as well.

New manager Tony Witt was also on hand at the event to greet guests and answer questions. He looks forward to offering a lot more than just bowling for guests who will visit.

“We’d like to open it up for people to watch football on Saturday,” Witt said, “or for business outings downstairs, or even for darts and billiards leagues.”

It’s not just inside the building where big improvements are being made. There is also a plan to expand the outdoor recreation options as well. Plans for a beach volleyball court and a platform for musicians to play are also being discussed.

“We’d also like to use that outdoor space for cookouts, bags tournaments and car shows,” said Rule.

“Where other communities our size with older bowling alleys are choosing to close those businesses, they are instead striving to re-invest in that business and be innovative and provide even better options for everybody,” Witt added.

The William Penn technology staff have made improvements in the building as well, including free Wi-Fi and access points and new bowling scoring system. The meeting room areas will also contain more modern technology to meet those business needs.

Space can be reserved by calling Tony Witt or the Advancement Department at William Penn.

Sports writer Richard Rindt can be reached at sports@oskyherald.com or follow him on Twitter @osky_sports

Recommended for you