Centre kicks off $50 million campaign for new wellness, athletics center

DANVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – The largest, most comprehensive construction project to date at Centre College will create a 135,000-square-foot facility devoted to wellness and athletic excellence.

It will benefit the entire campus community and set a new standard for holistic education at top-ranked residential liberal arts colleges across the nation.

Designed in partnership with Cincinnati-based architects MSA Sport, the $50 million project reflects Centre’s commitment to invest in facilities and programs that enhance student success, hone leadership skills and prepare graduates for lives of impact.

As part of a campus-wide strategic planning effort, it was clear that expanded wellness and athletic facilities were needed to continue the long history and clear mission of training leaders who can make a difference in the world, college administrators said in announcing the fund drive.

An aggressive fundraising campaign to support this new initiative is in progress. Early commitments, including two lead gifts, exceed three-quarters of the projected cost, leaving approximately $12 million to raise to fully fund the project.

This investment reflects the desire of the lead donors to challenge the Centre community, known for its pride and generosity, to share this vision and push future giving to an even higher potential.

The expansive new building will continue a series of recent campus construction projects totaling more than $30 million and is a next step in the strategic plan to equip the College to better serve its mission and the needs of families and students for the next 50 years.

Included in the overall construction project, Farris Stadium, built in 1923, will be transformed to provide world-class facilities for football, men’s lacrosse, and track and field, and also provide new seating, hospitality spaces and an upgraded press box.

In addition, Gary Wright Field will be relocated to create a new and enhanced experience for Centre’s baseball team.

Beyond the wellness and athletic excellence project, the Centre College Board of Trustees also approved additional funding to repurpose what will eventually be the College’s old natatorium, upgrade the softball field, completely renovate three residence halls in the Old Quad and build a new greenhouse.

Key components of the initiative for wellness and athletic excellence building design include:

  • A 10-lane, 50-meter pool with a moveable bulkhead, an integrated diving well with 1-meter and 3-meter diving boards, and seating for 700
  • A six-lane, 200-meter indoor track and turf infield with event seating for 800; this area can easily be increased exponentially by using the turf infield and will double as a large space for campus events, such as the annual Commencement ceremony, concerts and debates
  • A 6,000-square-foot strength and wellness center
  • A nutrition center that includes an educational component
  • Hospitality and engagement areas
  • Locker rooms and multipurpose event spaces for activities such as yoga
  • An enhanced Athletics Hall of Fame

While benefiting all 24 varsity teams, the aquatic and the track and field components of the new facility will offer the opportunity to strategically expand rosters by as many as 70 student-athletes.

A groundbreaking for the project is being planned for October, with completion anticipated within 18 months. The relocation of Gary Wright Field for baseball is projected to be completed sooner.

Milton says it will be a great invest for the college and for the surrounding area.

“It not only impacts the 1,500 students of Centre college and the 500 faculty and staff, who will enjoy these incredible facilities, but it impacts the entire region. And we’re happy to be a future host for a lot of great athletic competitions,” he said.

Detailed information about the Initiative for Wellness and Athletic Excellence can be found here: https://www.centre.edu/iwae/.

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