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Construction continues

Nov. 6, 1998


Staff Writer

The end of the fall semester is just in sight, and so are fundraising and construction efforts for many of Baylor's groundbreaking endeavors: the George W.Truett Seminary, the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center and the Student Life Complex.

Construction has already begun on the new SLC, and it is expected to come to fruition next fall according to President Robert B. Sloan Jr.

Fundraising and plans for the $20 million, 60-acre SLC began in April 1996. The Student Life Center, centerpiece of the project, will be located at Third Street and Bagby Avenue next to Lloyd O. Russell Gymnasium.

The Student Life Center will house a recreation center, fitness center, wellness center, student health center and a natatorium. It will also include a marina pool building, tennis center, an outdoor sand volleyball court, soccer fields and intramural fields. The current intramural fields will be upgraded and a three-fourths mile Bear Trail jogging track will be constructed around its perimeter.

'I think this is one of the most positive things for student life to happen to the university in decades,' Sloan said. 'It will give students a better place to congregate and meet together, and I think many people are interested in fitness.'

The new George W. Truett Seminary campus has also received considerable report since the Baylor Board of Regents approved its design in mid-September.

The future sight of this 53,000-square-foot complex will be at the corner of M.L. Cooper Drive and Dutton Avenue. It will include a chapel, an enclosed courtyard, classrooms, meeting rooms, as well as faculty and administrative facilities.

The initial goal to start building is $10 million, and they have currently received approximately $8.4 million, Sloan said.

'My goal is for us to start building by May or June,' Sloan said. 'It will take 12 to 15 months to complete, so we can hope that maybe by the fall of 2000 it will be complete.'

The seminary is presently located at the First Baptist Church of Waco, and seminary officials are eagerly anticipating construction of the new campus.

Construction of the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center, which will be located on the banks of the Brazos River, is also in Baylor's near future.

This project is a $35 million campaign, and according to Sloan the new law school has received a $20 million gift and other pledges toward the $27 million cost of the building itself. The offical fundraising campaign will begin in early 1999.

'We have some other very strong pledges,' Sloan said. 'We haven't reached the $27 million yet, but it's well on its way. I'd like to see us have groundbreaking and start building about the same time as the seminary, somewhere between April and June or July.'

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