The university will break ground on the Onstead Science Center after having secured $42 million of the $45 million needed to complete the new science and engineering facilities.
Two significant donations to fund construction of the science facilities were from local foundations, the Dodge Jones Foundation and the Dian Graves Owen Foundation, which donated $5 million and $3 million, respectively.
Schubert said it’s great when the local community’s investment can be highlighted alongside investments coming from elsewhere.
“They wanted to demonstrate their support and send a strong signal about the local Abilene community supporting the projects as well,” he said. “It creates great partnerships.”
Larry Gill, grants administrator at the Dodge Jones Foundation, said having engineering and science programs in Abilene appealed to the foundation.
“We have some great science academics on faculty at ACU and this will enhance those programs,” he said. “It just seemed to make a whole lot of sense for the future of ACU students and the future of Abilene.”
Both foundations also made financial contributions to the building of the Hunter Welcome Center and the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, but their combined $8 million donation is the largest amount either foundation has given to the university. Officials at the Diane Graves Owen Foundation could not be reached.
Schubert said part of the reason he wanted to begin construction on the Onstead facility was so that the building’s 84-year-old namesake, Kay Onstead, could see significant marked results.
“I have the desire to ensure that there is visible progress so that she can enjoy and appreciate and be a part of it,” he said.
Schubert said there are many ongoing conversations with other individuals, corporations and foundations about fundraising.
“We’re in the process of trying to get clarity on final decisions so we’re hopeful that even conversations we’re already in with proposals on the table will yield significant progress,” he said.
About $21 million of the $30 million needed for the athletic facilities has been secured.
Schubert said progress continues on the new track and soccer venue which is expected to be complete by April. The Engineering and Physics Laboratories at Bennett Gymnasium are expected to be completed by January.