Baylor University celebrated the completion of Elliston Chapel in East Village with gatherings and services at the end of the spring semester. Elliston Chapel--funded with a lead gift from Molli, BSEd '75, and former Baylor Regent Gary Elliston of Dallas--is a 3,000-square-foot, 120-seat chapel that will accommodate small Bible studies, group worship and individual reflection.
A portion of the Williams Family Soccer and Olympic Sports Center, located in the Julie and Jim Turner Riverfront Athletic Complex, was completed in time for use during the NCAA National Tennis Championships in May. Work is nearing completion on the soccer portion of the building. A lead gift of $1.5 million from Billy and Elaine Williams of Naples, Fla., led to the construction of the $3.3 million, 14,500-square-foot facility.
The new I-35 frontage road bridges over the Brazos River debuted a programmable LED lighting system in June. The 200 lighting fixtures and 800 lights can be turned green and gold to celebrate a Baylor game day or other colors to celebrate holidays and other community activities. The city operates and maintains the system, while a bridge lighting committee made up of city and Baylor representatives make decisions on special lighting displays. The University funded the $500,000 system, which was installed by the Texas Department of Transportation.
The Charline Dauphin Pro Players Locker Room, located in the Simpson Athletics and Academic Center, was dedicated in June. The locker room space, designed for use by former Bears currently in the NFL when they return to campus, was made possible by a $500,000 donation from Charline Dauphin of Silsbee, Texas.
North Russell Residence Hall is open for the 2015-2016 academic year after undergoing extensive renovations over the past year. It now houses 381 students, including the Baylor & Beyond Living-Learning Center.
By the beginning of the fall semester, the Hankamer School of Business will move into the new 275,000-square-foot Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation. Led by Paul L. Foster, BBA '79, and his historic $35 million gift, the new business facility will expand the size and reach of Hankamer School of Business by nearly 40 percent and will expand opportunities for student and faculty collaboration across disciplines.
Construction continues on the new 5th Street fountain plaza made possible through an $8 million gift from Dr. Thomas Rosenbalm, BS '50, MS '51. A 46-foot by 61-foot fountain is the centerpiece of the renovation, which includes utility and foundation work to meet growing campus needs. Construction should conclude in time for Homecoming, Oct. 22-24.
The Beauchamp Athletics Nutrition Center will be ready this fall, as work has progressed throughout the spring and summer. The 14,000-square-foot facility, on the waterfront next to the Baylor Marina, will serve as a nutrition center for Baylor's student-athletes. The facility is named in honor of Baylor Board of Regents Vice Chairman Bob Beauchamp and his wife, Laura, the Houston couple who made the lead gift for the project.
At its May meeting, the Baylor Board of Regents approved $1.1 million for the design and construction of a renovated and expanded weight room in the Simpson Athletics and Academic Center. The project will include new space dedicated to sports nutrition and applied performance along with equipment and technology upgrades.
Memorial Dining Hall is expanding to 22,000 square feet with room for 600 students, thanks to a $4.6 million renovation. Construction began in May and is expected to be finished in time for the fall semester.
Expansion and upgrades to the Baylor Energy Complex and Electrical Substation began in the spring and will be completed in the fall. The $7.2 million upgrade will supply upcoming electrical loads and provide additional electrical capacity for the future.
A $19-million renovation is underway at Penland Residence Hall. Opened in 1960 as a 562-bed facility, Penland is the third among 10 Baylor residence halls to be restored over an eight-year period. Construction is scheduled to be completed by summer 2016.