DWU announces plans to break ground on new health, wellness center in fall

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Dakota Wesleyan University president Amy Novak announced today that the university has raised $10 million toward a new health and wellness center and renovation of an existing athletic facility.  The university will break ground this fall.

Novak, accompanied by board of trustees members, made the announcement to campus today within the recently renamed Christen Family Athletic Center. The total $15 million project will include a new health and wellness center, renovations to the Christen Family Athletic Center and an operating endowment.

The new health and wellness center will be located on the south side of Norway Avenue, just across from the current practice fields. The first step toward this project will be a 90,000-square-foot facility on two levels, including: a 200-meter running and walking indoor track, three indoor multipurpose sport courts, locker rooms, 7,000 square feet of wellness space dedicated to cardiovascular equipment, weights and fitness training, a wrestling room, classroom space for seminars and leadership training, and strength and conditioning training space.

The second phase will include renovations to the existing Christen Family Athletic Center to upgrade heating and cooling units, expand the athletic weight room, expand the athletic training space, office space for coaches and athletic trainers, and a remodel of the large locker room spaces. Final plans for both facilities are expected within the next few months.

“Our students need and deserve a facility in which they can pursue their athletic aspirations as well as personal wellness,” said Novak.  “Our student athletes are severely limited in their practice space. Further, our general campus population rarely has an opportunity to exercise or work out as the university’s growth has nearly doubled the number of athletes on campus over the past two decades, rendering our current athletic center largely unavailable.  Our students need this facility, our university community needs this facility, and this long, cold winter has verified that our Mitchell community also needs this facility. We will be excited to offer the use of this facility to members of the Mitchell community.  We also see this facility as a place where we can hold youth camps and tournaments that support the economic vitality of this community, especially during the winter months ”

It was the completion of the university’s new $11.5 million Glenda K. Corrigan Health Sciences Center this fall that triggered the momentum needed for the university board of trustees and DWU leadership team to embark on its most ambitious campaign to date. “A Greater Wesleyan” will see the campus transformed – not just structurally, but through new, innovative programs that will keep the university at the forefront of education and producing future employees for the region.

DWU produces nearly 70 percent of the nursing graduates employed in the local healthcare industry, nearly 40 percent of the area teachers, and also countless business, criminal justice, human service professionals, ministers, musicians, and writers, “who as graduates of the DWU community now call the Mitchell region home,” Novak said.

“The interest and support for this project has been tremendous, but I must give credit where credit is due,” Novak said. “At the board of trustees meeting last fall, our board endorsed this project with their votes and shortly thereafter, with their financial commitments. With this strong start, many generous donors became enthused about this project and by February, we knew this facility was going become a reality sooner rather than later. We are truly humbled and blessed by significant gifts that were pledged to this project.”

Categories: News
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