Former Troy students: Fond memories of Sartain Hall

Published 1:47 am Tuesday, August 14, 2018

It is the end of an era at Troy University as the walls of Sartain Hall fell Monday.

Sartain is being demolished to make way for the Trojan Fitness Center, a new $25 million student recreation center currently under construction.

Tim Bryan said he left a lot of salt in the basement of Sartain.

“When I was playing ball, we worked out in a small area in the basement,” he said. “Keep in mind, I was a 185-pound walk-on kicker. The first time I went through all the stations, I got to the chin-up bar and did about three before I fell to my knees and hands.

“In the winter, we would work out in there and jog over to the stadium,” he said. “I have fond memories of getting good and tired in there.”

LBW Community College instructor Johnny Brewer said he will always remember the building as the place he received his degree.

“I was given my bachelor’s degree in music education by Dr. Jack Hawkins in Sartain Hall in 1998,” Brewer said. “I always enjoyed playing in the Troy State University pep band for basketball games in Sartain, as well.”

Sartain also served as home for the women’s basketball and volleyball games, and Straughn High School alumna and current Troy University student Holley McGlaun said that she will always remember going to volleyball camps in the old arena.

“One memory that I will have of the building is going to volleyball camps there,” McGlaun said. “I got to play with the actual Troy University volleyball players there and I will never forget that. I also remember going to basketball games with my family.”

McGlaun said that watching the demolition is a bittersweet moment.

“Just knowing that new students will never get to experience the atmosphere of Sartain is sad,” McGlaun said. “The atmosphere in the Trojan Arena, in my opinion, is completely different. I am glad to see that they are building something new in the area of the building though.”

McGlaun will graduate from Troy University in December.

Andalusia Mayor Earl Johnson saw some great performances in Sartain Hall.

“Back when I was at Troy, Sartain Hall was pretty new,” Johnson, who also is a member of Troy University’s Board of Trustees, said. “Of course, I saw a lot of basketball there, but I also heard Ray Charles and his full orchestra, Little Anthony and the Imperials, the Righteous Brothers, and Ike and Tina Turner. “

He has two special memories.

“I think it was in 1968, we had a special, campus-wide assembly, which was very rare,” he said. “Dr. Ralph Adams announced we would no longer be Troy State College, but our name would be Troy State University.”

It was also the venue where Johnson received an honorary doctorate from the university and was honored to serve as commencement speaker.

And while he has great memories of the venue, he said the change underway now is huge.

“The Troy campus is maturing into a major university campus,” he said. “The rec center that is going up is going to be beautiful, and it’s the first thing you will see coming in on George Wallace Drive.

“We are opening up the north end zone project this season, and that’s a huge step up for our football program. The wellness center will be another big, big step.”

Johnson said the Troy University board has really stepped up in the past 20 years.

“”Dr. Jack Hawkins (chancellor) and I have a word we use. We want things to have a “wow” factor,” he said. “This will really be a wow building.”

In Sartain Hall’s place will be a parking lot for the new Student Fitness Center currently being built.

Opened in 1962, the Sartain Hall was named in honor of Professor Auxford Sartain, a 40-year faculty member.

Through the decades that followed, the building became a hub of activity on campus, notably hosting a record-breaking 258-point performance from the TROY men’s basketball team in 1992.