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Administration eagerly awaits student complex

Sept. 17, 1996

By Whitney Daniels

Lariat Reporter

Members of Baylor's administration focus on both the financial concerns for and the long-range benefits of the proposed Student Life Complex.

The total cost for the 140,000 square foot Student Life Center and renovations to the intramural fields, Marina Pool building, soccer field and tennis center will be $20 million.

President Robert B. Sloan Jr. said he is looking forward to the provision of a facility that will encourage a greater sense of community on the Baylor campus. Each time students interact outside of class, the greater the opportunity for friendship, cooperation and leadership becomes, he said.

'The sense of community at Baylor is one of the things that past generations of students love the most. It is equally important for the future; it encourages leadership, relational skills,' said Dr. Randy Lofgren, director of donor development.

Sloan also said the complex is needed for student recruitment. Modern facilities impress prospective students, he said. Texas A&M University opened a 280,000 square feet, $36 million recreational building in August 1995, A&M officials said.

The University of Texas has two primary facilities totaling 250,000 square feet of recreational space. The Gregory Gym, built in 1930 and added onto in 1963, is now undergoing a $26.3 million renovation, Texas officials said.

Many University students said they think the complex will simply be an added bonus.

'Even if I had known about it [the center], it probably wouldn't have influenced my decision to come to Baylor,' said Mandy Malsbary, a Katy freshman.

Highlights of Baylor's complex will include a rock climbing wall, an indoor jogging track and a natatorium, said planners.

'[It sounds like] a place to spend all the time you wish you had,' said Kory Pomykal, a Fredericksburg freshman.

The official fundraising campaign for the complex opened with a press conference Aug. 22. There, officials said the majority of the funds would come from

private donors, corporations and foundations.

However, a recent letter from Clyde and Maxine Hart, co-chairs of the Faculty-Staff Campaign, encouraged faculty and staff members to give 'whatever you can...The extent to which we participate is a key factor when foundations consider making major gifts.'

A special recognition display called the 'Wall of Champions' will be included in the entrance to the Student Life Center. According to the letter, those who give $1,000 or more will be listed on the wall.

The Student Life Complex is Baylor's primary development priority, and will prove to be the largest financial and structural undertaking in Baylor's history. F & S Incorporated, a Dallas-based architecht firm, are the architects for the project.

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