President James L. Edwards hosted the dedication of the Anderson University Kardatzke Wellness Center on October 12. The keynote speaker featured at the dedication ceremony was Olympian Dave Johnson. The $17.4 million 132,000 square-foot Kardatzke Wellness Center provides programming for health, recreation and wellness in all forms—spiritual, emotional, physical, and social. The new structure connects the existing O.C. Lewis Gymnasium and Bennett Natatorium at the northeast end of the campus. The facility is the largest building project in the university's 85-year history.
“We are extremely joyful that this day has finally come. It expresses for many of us the sense of the wellness of the university, and we hope expresses to our community and the world how very much we care about persons and the whole of their lives,” said Dr. James L. Edwards, president of Anderson University. "The ideals of personal development and holistic wellness programmed through this facility 'body, mind and spirit' are reflected through the university's mission statement and charts a new course for the institution. We are extremely grateful for the tremendous amount of support and encouragement that we have received from literally thousands of alumni, donors and friends.”
“There is a definite beauty in this building and what it can do,” said guest speaker, Dave Johnson. Johnson, a two-time Olympian and four-time USA champion decathlete spoke about the importance in his life of spiritual and physical wellness. “[The facility] will help promote athletes who give 100 percent of themselves to Jesus Christ. It’s an honor to be here and to be part of something that I am absolutely certain that is going to be an amazing and special thing for athletes and students at this university.”
The facility carries the Kardatzke family name to honor the generations of the Kardatzke family that have been among the university’s most generous and loyal supporters over the years, not only financially but also as teachers and recruiters. To date nearly 100 Kardatzkes have studied at Anderson University.
“There is a legacy of many marvelous families whose history is intertwined with Anderson University and the Church of God and God’s church as a whole,” said Dr. E. Stanley Kardatzke. “This building is for all our families.”
In Oct. 1999, Anderson University made room for the center by relocating the campus tennis courts to the northeast side of the O.C. Lewis Gymnasium parking lot. The architectural firms of K.R. Montgomery and Associates in Anderson and RDG Bussard Dikis of Des Moines, IA, designed the project. W.R. Dunkin and Son, Inc., served as construction managers for the 18-month project.
The state-of-the-art facility strategically brings together the departments of Kinesiology, Athletic Training and Athletics. In addition, the center will focus on holistic approaches to health---specifically in the areas of recreation, evaluation, education and human performance. The university's Wellness Center includes approximately $600,000 of instructional athletic equipment addressing various areas of fitness and development.
"The board of trustees is committed to this wonderful new center which has already received a broad level of strong support through the recently completed 'Anderson Challenge' capital campaign," said Lou Gerig, chair of the AU board of trustees and president of Sease, Gerig & Associates in Indianapolis, Ind. "The issues of health, fitness and wellness have become such an intricate part of our society. This new center brings focus to these topics and adds both an educational and a spiritual dimension. Wellness is not something you participate in for four year. It’s a lifestyle.”
The lower level of the state-of-the-art center features an open middle concourse allowing main access to the facility from the north and the south. On the west end of the lower level is a multipurpose field house offering four regulation basketball courts that provide and support the full range of educational instruction, a 200 meter regulation indoor running track, and access to Bennett Natatorium. Also located on the lower level of the center are several meeting facilities and a variety of specialized areas for human performance, sports medicine therapy and rehabilitation.
The top level of the Kardatzke Wellness Center provides a main reception area leading into central access for the existing O.C. Lewis Gymnasium, a comprehensive fitness evaluation area, faculty and staff offices and a conferencing area. In addition, the Anderson University Wellness Center is ADA accessible and allows additional programming in counseling, recreation, and popular intramural campus activities. According to the AU Department of Student Life, the Wellness Center will have a significant positive impact on the personal development of the campus community.
Anderson University is a four-year, private, Christian liberal arts institution of approximately 2,500 undergraduates and graduate students. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, the university offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, and theology.
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