Eighteen Months of Construction in Less than Five Minutes

by   |  09.12.11  |  Construction, Videos

Grand Opening Video

by   |  09.08.11  |  Ceremony, Videos

A Grand Opening

by   |  09.05.11  |  Ceremony, Photos

If the initial student reaction to Abilene Christian University’s newest building could be summed up in two words, they would be: “Cool!” and “Wow!”

Beginning with Chapel and culminating with a massive community lunch that spread over the campus mall, the grand opening Friday of the Royce and Pam Money Student Recreation and Wellness Center ended years of waiting for students, faculty and staff and began a new era focused on whole wellness for the student body.

The 116,000-square-foot renovation and expansion of the Gibson Health and P.E. Center features a bouldering wall, eighth-mile jogging track, leisure pool featuring a lazy river, wet classroom, two large exercise classrooms, a large dividable classroom with demonstration kitchen, new basketball court, cardio floor and suite of offices for the Medical and Counseling Care Center.

A visual look at the grand opening follows the jump.

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Board, Donors Celebrate Center Dedication

by   |  08.29.11  |  Ceremony, Photos

The Royce and Pam Money Student Recreation and Wellness Center officially was dedicated Saturday, with members of the Abilene Christian University Board of Trustees and Alumni Advisory Board touring the facility and recognizing the major donors who contributed a significant portion of the building’s $21 million cost.

Board members and donors stood in the Bullock and Anthony Lobby while the facility’s student workers watched from the balconies overhead as Phil Boone, vice president of Advancement, thanked those who played a role in funding and constructing the Money Center.

The grand opening is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday.

More photos of the dedication ceremony after the jump.

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Occupied, Officially

by   |  08.26.11  |  Construction, Photos, Update

Abilene Christian University is officially authorized to occupy the Royce and Pam Money Student Recreation and Wellness Center – more than a week later than expected, but with enough time to keep Saturday’s dedication ceremony and the Sept. 2 grand opening on track.

Only one piece of major work is left to do: laying tile in the leisure pool, saved for the end because the surface must immediately be covered with water to avoid drying and cracking. Below the jump are photos that indicate just how close the facility is to completion. More »

Winding Down: Construction Update

by   |  08.19.11  |  Construction, Photos, Update

Walking through the Royce and Pam Money Student Recreation and Wellness Center was chaotic last week; this week, the atmosphere was much calmer.

With crews set to work through the weekend to finish the facility in time, most major jobs were complete or nearing completion, leaving touch-up and cleaning work before the Aug. 27 dedication ceremony.

A few photos from today’s tour:

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Training Day

by   |  08.18.11  |  Administration, Personnel

Student workers listen as SRWC executive director Brian Devost (right) and director of operations Joel Swedlund answer questions Thursday morning.

Delays in obtaining a certificate of occupancy rearranged the schedule of but couldn’t stop the dozens

of Abilene Christian University students who came to campus more than a week early to be trained for their new roles as employees in the Royce and Pam Money Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

The training, initially planned for the large classroom on the second floor of the Money Center, was moved across the street to the Hunter Welcome Center as crews scramble to overcome last-minute delays in completing the facility. That was fine with the nearly 60 student workers, who expressed excitement about the prospect of working inside the 116,000-square-foot renovation and expansion of the Gibson Health and Physical Education Center.

“I’m so excited about that,” said Farron Salley, senior public relations major from Fort Worth who will be a building supervisor. “The rec center is going to be such a great place for students to hang out and be active.”

The two-day session, which ended today, included training in customer service, policies and procedures, ACU values and wellness, and software the students will use to manage their shifts, said Joel Swedlund, director of facility operations. In a week, the students will enter the SRWC for the first time, learning how to use the TechnoGym cardio and weight equipment.


Three Weeks Left: Construction Update

by   |  08.11.11  |  Construction, Photos, Update

Things are chaotic inside the Royce and Pam Money Student Recreation and Wellness Center as crews scramble to finish the facility before the Aug. 27 donor ceremony and Sept. 2 grand opening.

Nevertheless, progress is occurring, as evidenced by the delivery and installation of TechnoGym cardio and weight equipment, the filling of the Aquatic Center’s two pools (for testing only) and the installation of flooring and ceiling tiles all over the facility. Here is a quick photographic tour of the building as it stands this week: More »

Early August Construction Update

by   |  08.04.11  |  Construction, Update

Crews have nearly completed the outdoor basketball court, which, despite being adjacent to the parking lot, will be accessible only from the east side of the facility itself.

These photos actually were taken last week. There are a lot of them, so we’ll get right into it. Needless to say, progress has picked up quite a bit, as whole sections of the building are now essentially done, awaiting only minor additions and cleanup. Click on “More” to see the rest of the pictures.

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New Era, New Courses

by   |  07.26.11  |  Classes

The opening of the Royce and Pam Money Student Recreation and Wellness Center is ushering in a new era at Abilene Christian University, in more ways than one: For the first time, ACU will offer dance classes for academic credit.

“We’re bringing that wall down,” said Dr. Joe Bell, chair of the Department of Exercise Science and Health.

The two new classes — ballet and modern dance — are among the first of what will likely be several years of transition as the department adapts its curriculum for the new facility.

Another significant change will be the introduction of a fitness class as one of the two activity courses included part of each student’s core requirements.

In years past, students were required to take ESXC 100 — Lifetime Wellness, a freshman-level, primarily lecture class — followed by three activities, such as bowling, pickleball or racquetball. With the introduction last year of ACU’s new Core, those were reduced to two required activities. One of those now will be EXSC 101, a fitness-related followup to Lifetime Wellness, Bell said.

Students will use the rec center to develop a fitness plan in 100 and will be tasked with carrying it out in 101, he said. The new curriculum will apply to entering freshmen this fall.

With the Wellness Key providing opportunities for tracking how a student uses the wellness center through all four years on campus, the new curriculum allows Exercise Science faculty to engage in research about the usage patterns and health habits of ACU students, Bell said.

“We feel that’s a cutting-edge way to go,” he said. “Not a lot of people do that.”

The three new classes are just the start, Bell said, of how the new facility will change the offerings and emphases of the department in the coming years.

“I’m sure we’ll develop some curriculum-type things,” Bell said. “There’s so much we can do. It’ll be really great. We’re trying to keep our curriculum open enough where we can make changes on the fly.”