Rain doesn’t dampen UMSL’s groundbreaking spirit

UMSL Recreation and Wellness Center groundbreaking

Rain moved the crowd indoors Nov. 21 for a groundbreaking ceremony at UMSL. Dignitaries lined up for the official construction start of the new Recreation and Wellness Center including (from left) Larry Coffin, George Nikolajevich, Curt Coonrod, Bennett Felton, Tim Wolfe, Donald Downing, Wayne Goode, Tom George, Gustavo Diaz Perez, Glen Cope, Jericah Selby, Miriam Roccia and Daniel Armistead. (Photo by August Jennewein)

When Thursday’s steady rain started washing away the mounds of dirt, organizers of a groundbreaking ceremony at the University of Missouri–St. Louis moved the party inside.

At the appointed time, 14 dignitaries picked up their shovels and posed for photos, thankful to be indoors. The “dirtless” ceremony was held for a new $36 million Recreation and Wellness Center on UMSL’s North Campus. Many of the speakers thanked UMSL students for making it all happen.

“We want to thank our students who overwhelmingly voted last year to finance the center and acknowledge the role they played in securing this exciting new building,” said Chancellor Tom George. “It was important to them and it will greatly enhance campus life for our future students.”

In the spring of 2012, two dynamic student government leaders, Jericah Selby and Steven Brockman, launched a three-day student referendum that overwhelmingly approved construction and funding of the center. Once it opens in the fall of 2015, students will pay an additional $19.25 per credit hour to fund it.

Today, Selby, BS 2012, is a second-year law student at the University of Denver and Brockman, BSBA 2013, works as a management trainee at Heartland Dental Care in St. Peters, Mo.

In addition to Selby, participants in the ceremony included: Tim Wolfe, president, University of Missouri System; Wayne Goode, president, UM System Board of Curators; Donald Downing, curator; Tom George, chancellor; Glen Cope, provost; Curt Coonrod, vice provost; Miriam Roccia, assistant dean of students; Larry Coffin, assistant director of athletics and recreation sports; Bennett Felton, SGA president; Gustavo Perez, SGA vice president; Daniel Armistead, SGA comptroller; architect George Nikolajevich from Cannon Design; and Louie, UMSL’s mascot.

The 94,000-square-foot center will be built on space currently occupied by two parking lots  just south of the Millennium Student Center on UMSL’s North Campus. Amenities will include a three-court gymnasium, six-lane pool, whirlpool, strength and cardio training rooms, an elevated jogging track and locker rooms. Cannon Design, which specializes in health-care, education and corporate-commercial facilities, was chosen as architect for the project.

Media Coverage:
KTVI (Channel 2) 


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