The Arlen Specter Squash Center predicted to centralize squash


Dylan Drury '22

The Arlen Center Squash Center will include 16 singles squash courts and two doubles squash courts.

Scheduled to open in December, the Arlen Specter Squash Center will be the first official headquarters for US Squash and will likely have the most significant impact on the organization in its history.  US Squash is currently in the process of building the center, which is in honor of the late Pennsylvania senator Mr. Arlen Specter.

US Squash resumes construction on the center and anticipates its completion by the end of the year.  Courtesy of

After Mr. Specter passed in 2012, his family donated $40 million in his name to build a squash center that is more accessible to the people living in the Philadelphia area.  US Squash is building the center in the historic Armory building, according to  The center is strategically located in proximity to the 30th Street Station, the Philadelphia International Airport, hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions.

Offerings such as access to transportation, hotels, and restaurants are vital to the center’s success since it will host most of the major US Squash tournaments.  These tournaments will attract hundreds of people, making hotels, restaurants, and accessibility to transportation centers, such as airports, essential.  The center is also in close proximity to the Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania squash centers.  With the construction of the Arlen Specter Squash Center, there will be 38 squash courts within a three-block radius.

Mrs. Celia Pashley, Assistant Director of Fitness Center and Upper School Squash Coach, spoke about how the construction of the Arlen Specter Squash Center will have an impact on the tournaments in which the Sacred Heart squash teams participate.

“Because it’s hard for [US Squash] to find space and be able to have hundreds of teams play, you obviously need to have the courts to make it fit in the weekend,” Coach Pashley said.  “I know that this was one of the major issues, that’s why last year we were only allowed to bring one team [to High School Nationals].” 

The Arlen Center Squash Center will include 18 courts in total.  Sixteen of these courts will be singles courts, including two all-glass exhibitions courts, and two of them will be doubles courts.  The center will house the national headquarters of US Squash as well as the Learning and Innovation Center, which will run in collaboration with SquashSmarts.  The center will also include the US Squash Hall of Fame and a Coaching Excellence Center equipped with state of the art resources for athletes, according to

The Arlen Specter Squash Center is expected to have a significant impact on the growth of squash in the United States.  Claudia El-Masry ’23

US Squash originally slated the opening of the center for October 2020. However, due to the stay-at-home order put into effect because of the coronavirus pandemic, the construction fell behind schedule.  US Squash gave an update August 5 that they are resuming construction and anticipating its completion by the end of the year, according to

Mr. Ned Edwards, Executive Director of the Arlen Specter Squash Center, believes that the center will have a significant impact on junior squash as a whole.

“Prior to Covid-19, we had intended that the major US Squash Junior Championships, including middle and high-school championships, with the very high volume of participants to be hosted at the Center on an annual basis,” Mr. Edwards said.  “Any overflow matches would be scheduled at the neighboring Drexel University and University of Pennsylvania courts.  As squash and junior squash restarts, we will be looking at the role the Specter Center can play to help facilitate the full return to play.”

Featured Image by Dylan Drury ’22