Texas Wesleyan University President Frederick Slabach said Tuesday that the 2020 Vision plan is ahead of schedule, and more than half of the money needed for the new student center has been raised.
Speaking during free period at the Baker Building, Slabach said the Nicholas and Louella Martin University Center will cost $20 million and will include a ballroom, classrooms and a dining hall.
“The university center will be the center point of campus life,” he said, “a place where students, faculty and staff will come together in the spirit of community.”
The center, he said, is named after Louella Martin, a member of the Wesleyan board of trustees, and her husband, Nick. The Martins have donated $7 million toward the project, and the hope is that $12 million will be raised by December.
“Their family has been very involved with Texas Wesleyan almost since its beginning,” Slabach said.
Slabach answered questions that were asked by audience members, as well as other questions that were submitted beforehand.
Slabach said that the football program, rather than draining the university budget, has actually increased revenue.
“Because of football and the additional revenue it brought we have been able to create that fabulous new weight room that is for not just football players, but for all student athletes,” he said.
Dr. Benjamin Miller, a biology professor and a chair on the athletic committee, expressed concerns over classroom space. Slabach had mentioned the creation of an auxiliary gym, which worried Miller, who said he already has to borrow chairs from other classrooms.
Slabach said the auxiliary gym and renovations to Ella C. McFadden Science Center would help alleviate these concerns.
Darren White, associate vice president of marketing and communication, said these types of events are important because they give the community a chance to speak directly to Slabach.