After discussing possibilities and concepts for several years, the university announced Friday construction on the $21 million Student Recreation and Wellness Center would begin Tuesday. The facility is named after President Royce Money and his wife, Pam, and the roar of applause during Friday’s Chapel announcement said students approve.
Dr. Jean-Noel Thompson, dean of students and vice president of Student Life, said the university would not use a single tuition dollar to pay for the 113,000-square-foot facility. About 60 percent of the anticipated cost of the project has been raised already, according to www.acu.edu.
Students had the opportunity to contribute $10 via text message during Chapel. Students have used text messages to donate $750 to date, with another $200-$250 awaiting confirmation. Charles Gaines, president of the Students’ Association, said the university has been adamant about understanding what students want and making sure the recreation center reflects that. Although this year’s SA officers and those of the past few years have met with administrators, Gaines said students have initiated direct contact to voice their concerns.
“Forget the middle man of SA; students went straight to the administration,” said Gaines, senior criminal justice major from Cedar Hill. “And the administration spent a considerable amount of time polling students and looking at what they said.”
The facility will include a new leisure swimming pool, a one-eighth-mile suspended jogging track, rock-climbing wall, expanded free weights and aerobics areas and renovated basketball courts, according to www.acu.edu. The 16-month project is expected to conclude in time for a Fall 2011 unveiling.