August 25, 2014 | 8:31 a.m.
By Suzanne McInroy, Director of Communications
A new design plan for Bethel University’s Wellness Center will allow construction to begin in November with the structure likely completed by Fall 2015. The project went from two phases to one and will focus primarily on building space for a fitness center and for the human kinetics and applied health science programs. The price of the project was reduced from $23 million to $11 million, which the university has already secured in donations.
“Within the last month, we have witnessed great blessings from God,” says Pat Mazorol, senior vice president for university relations. “Within one week of the redesign, we received an estate gift of $800,000 for capital needs and an investor gift of $1.8 million specifically for the Fitness Center. We received approval from an investor to move funds from another capital project to the Wellness Center if needed. Adding that to funds already raised provides all funding necessary to begin building the $11 million center.”
The former design for the Health and Wellness Center was broken into two phases – one for a fitness center and classrooms and a second for the human kinetics and applied health science programs along with health services, counseling services, and classrooms. With the purchase of the Pine Tree building, some of the original priorities for the Health and Wellness Center shifted, explains Mazorol.
A November construction start date will require some sacrifice on campus with construction equipment and noise as well as the relocation of six classrooms, Mazorol explains. The re-design places the building in the same location – the north side of the Robertson Center (RC) and the Hagstrom Center (HC) – but will be three levels instead of four. The fitness center will remain on levels 2 and 3 and the space for biokinetics will be on level 4. The entire project is estimated to cost $11 million, which is less than phase 1 of the previous plan.
A ground breaking ceremony will be scheduled during the Board of Trustees meeting in early October.