Lubbock Christian University
Line of people outside with shovels turning over dirt at the site of new building in a groundbreaking ceremony

LCU Breaks Ground on New Rip Griffin Center Expansion

The official groundbreaking ceremony of the Rip Griffin Center Expansion Project took place Thursday, as the intercollegiate athletics arena for Lubbock Christian University is undergoing its first major renovation process since opening in 2000.

“I am grateful to all of the donors who have decided to invest in this facility for Chap Athletics and the excellence they witness in head coaches Todd Duncan (men’s basketball), Keith Giboney (volleyball), Steve Gomez (women’s basketball) and others,” said LCU President Scott McDowell. “At this moment, it is particularly gratifying to be breaking ground for the Griffin Family Center for Student Athlete Development. Rip Griffin served on our board for over 42 years, and he and Geneva loved the Chapparrals. The fact that that the Griffin family are carrying on that legacy in this generation makes this a very special day.”

Collier Construction will take the lead on the project, which includes 28,000 square feet of new and renovated construction. The $7.2 million project will be completed in the fall of 2025. The additions and renovations to the Rip Griffin Center will recognize the facility as the Griffin Family Center for Student Athlete Development.

  • Covenant Health Foundation Training Facility
  • New weight room
  • Two practice gyms (J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation Gym)
  • Craig & Ann McDonald 3:23 Hospitality Suite
  • Joyce & Jim Foster Men’s Basketball Office Suite
  • Bill & DeeDee Bundy Women’s Basketball Office Suite

Several of the projects within the expansion recognize contributors to the LCU athletic programs. The Covenant Health Foundation Training Facility will serve as the main hub for LCU’s Athletic Training Department with more space and additional equipment to serve the student-athletes and to assist the curriculum of the student-training programs. The Craig & Ann McDonald 3:23 Hospitality Suite carries the reference to Colossians 3:23, which many LCU athletic programs use as a motto. The office suites for each of the basketball programs will honor a pair of couples that have poured many years of service and dedication into Lubbock Christian University. Joyce Foster spent 35 years working for LCU and was inducted into the LCU Athletics Hall of Honor in 2015 because of the many years she served in the LCU Athletic Department, and her husband Jim previously worked in the LCU Admissions Department. Sharon “DeeDee” Bundy currently serves on the LCU Board of Trustees and her husband Bill serves as the President of the LCU Foundation. Naming rights and opportunities are still available within the expansion, which will directly support the volleyball and basketball programs.

“The groundbreaking of the Griffin Family Center for Student Athlete Development is more than just turning dirt; it's turning a page in the LCU athletics’ story,” commented LCU Director of Athletics Andrew Sorrells. “This state-of-the-art addition signifies our unwavering commitment to excellence and marks a bold step into the future of LCU athletics. We are deeply grateful for the generous contributions that have made this dream a reality.”

Scott Collier and the Collier Construction team, who recently completed the construction of the three-story Gullo Residence Hall, LCU Soccer and Track & Field Complex, and the Penny Gullo Tennis Center, will oversee the construction process and will work with Jason Moore and his design team at MWM Architects.

B.R. “Rip” Griffin served as a distinguished member of the LCU Board of Trustees for 42 years, and the name of the facility recognizes the legacy of Rip Griffin and the Griffin families. Originally built in 2000 and dedicated on October 9, 2000, the Rip Griffin Center has served as the home arena for LCU’s basketball (men’s and women’s) and volleyball programs. The 1,950-seat facility, which hosts the LCU graduation ceremonies, has hosted many marquee events over its 23-year history, accommodating concerts, banquets, speaking tours, high school playoffs, college basketball and volleyball tournaments (including the NJCAA National Championship Tournament in women’s basketball for an eight-year span) and numerous youth sports camps. The facility is in the NCAA record books, as LCU’s women’s basketball program won a NCAA Division II record 113 consecutive home games from Jan. 1, 2015-Feb. 3, 2023. “The Rip” has also hosted the Harlem Globetrotters and hosted home games for University of New Mexico’s men’s basketball during the 2020-21 season due to COVID sanctions in New Mexico.