The ACUÂ community can expect a new campus focal point by late August: the completed 75,000-square-foot Royce andÂ Pam Money Student Recreation and Wellness Center.
With the help of up to 200 workers and 18 months of building and renovation, the center will wrap up construction just in time for the return of vacationing students.
Zane Dennis, executive director of facilities and campus development, said he is excited for the opening of this one-of-a-kind building.
“It’s going to be phenomenal,” Dennis said. “It will be the new glue for the campus and have that adhesion factor that everyone will congregate to.”
Dennis said he expects the city to grant the building a certificate of occupancy, which verifies the safety and usability of the structure, by Aug. 15.
Crews will have two weeks to move in furniture and install exercise equipment to prepare for the timely opening, Dennis said.
“Our society today looks so much at promoting health, and I think that’s what this facility helps us do,” Dennis said.
State-of-the-art exercise equipment will fill its two stories, including a full track, elevated to the second floor. Two pools, one for recreation and one for lap swimming, will be included, as well as numerous exercise and group fitness rooms.
In addition, renovation of the 39,000-square-foot Gibson Health and P.E. Center will be completed, allowing students to utilize the space again.
Dr. Jeff Arrington, associate vice president for student life, said the university plans to utilize the grand opening to outline the unique vision for the center.
“We really believe in an integrated concept of wellness,” Arrington said. “We want the center to provide for both exercise and activity science needs as well as social.”
Arrington said the university has adopted a theme verse to grace the center. The verse is Mark 12:30, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
“We really want to honor God with our whole selves,” Arrington said.
In addition to physical improvement, the center will provide students with employment opportunities. More than 50 student workers will have managerial and operational responsibilities, Arrington said.
“We’ll be funneling the benefits back to students,” Arrington said. “I hope this will create a large pool of attractive on-campus work positions because it’s going to be a fun place to be.”
Brian Devost, executive director of the Wellness Center, said he is dedicated to creating high-quality programs in a comfortable and non-intimidating atmosphere.
“It will essentially be a place where people will go to further the quality of their lives and prepare themselves for the future,” Devost said.
Devost said he hopes the center will enhance and enrich Christian values for the ACU community.
“It will be more than a place to just work out,” Devost said. “It’s a place for the campus community to come together mentally, physically and spiritually. It will serve as a reminder that we’re all a part of something bigger than ourselves.”
For more information on the current progress of the center, visit blogs.acu.edu/srwc.