Drayton Mclane Chairs Largest Project in Baylor History

Aug. 22, 1996

WACO, Texas - Five distinct facilities dedicated to student life will provide the foundation for Baylor University's proposed 60-acre Student Life Complex, the largest building project in the school's 151-year history. The $20 million project will include a Student Life Center, intramural fields, a marina pool building, tennis center and soccer field.

Baylor launched its campaign today to encourage supporters to make the most significant building challenge in the university's history a reality.

The largest of the five facilities, the Student Life Center, will be located east of Russell Gym and south of Waco Creek. The 140,000- square foot center will house a recreation center, fitness center, wellness center, student health center and a natatorium for an estimated cost of $15,650,000.

The recreation center will include four basketball courts, game room, climbing wall, locker rooms and multi-purpose rooms. The fitness center will have a weight room, aerobics room and jogging track.

The Student Life Center will feature a wellness center and a student health center that will include a health clinic and counseling center. The natatorium will house a 25-meter swimming pool, leisure pool and grandstand.

"I believe building a Student Life Complex is an inestimable investment in the lives of our students," said President Robert B. Sloan Jr. "Student life centers are becoming an important part of college life. The University of Texas in Austin and Texas A&M University both have student life centers, and Baylor needs to respond to student concerns in order to stay competitive."

In addition to the Student Life Center, the new complex will include intramural fields. Approximately 75 percent of Baylor students participate each year in intramural sports such as soccer, flag football and softball. The current fields will be upgraded to include six lighted

softball fields which will be convertible to flag football and soccer fields. Plans include the development of a 3/4 mile Bear Trail jogging track around the perimeter of the fields as well as the addition of an outdoor sand volleyball court. Estimated cost for the intramural fields is $800,000.

The current eight-court tennis facility will be expanded to 16 lighted courts. The new facility, estimated to cost $2 million, will include a 6,000-square foot clubhouse with dressing rooms, pro shop, office and grandstand.

A new 7,000-square foot Marina Pool Building will be constructed to enhance the existing pool which overlooks the Brazos River. The estimated cost for a new marina building which includes dressing rooms, classrooms and a snack bar, is $600,000. Currently Baylor students participate in an extensive program of club soccer. A new soccer facility will greatly enhance the quality of this program. As Baylor begins women's NCAA intercollegiate soccer competition this fall, the university plans for this facility to include adequate structures to meet regulations for NCAA varsity soccer, permanent spectator stands, a scoreboard and lights. The estimated cost for the soccer field facility is $950,000.

Baylor Regent Drayton McLane Jr, owner of the Houston Astros Baseball Club and chairman of the McLane Group, will serve as the chairman of the campaign to raise funds for the Student Life Complex.

As campaign chair, Drayton said, "I believe this network of five facilities will provide a place for all Baylor students to meet and form lasting friendships; a place to participate in recreational activities; a place where wellness and healthy lifestyles will be emphasized; and a place where students can practice leadership skills through intramural competion."

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