Bishop Bruce Ough offered a blessing of the grounds where Dakota Wesleyan University will build a new 85,000 square-foot sports and wellness complex.
By Marcus Traxler, The Daily Republic, Sept. 18, 2014
The ceremony had cheers, flags and fanfare, all of which were fitting for the groundbreaking of a campus-changing project at Dakota Wesleyan University.
DWU officially broke ground Thursday on its 85,000 square-foot, $10.5 million health and wellness center at the site of the future facility on the south side of campus, revealing its name and the project’s lead donors.
Christens and Corrigans are lead donors for the project
The facility will be named the Dakota Wesleyan University and Avera Sports and Wellness Complex. Inside the building will be the Donna and Paul Christen Community Health and Fitness Center and the Glenda and Fritz Corrigan Fieldhouse and Athletic Institute.
The Christen and Corrigan families donated $2.75 million each to the project, according to DWU President Amy Novak. Avera Health will commit $2.5 million to the university over the next five years.
Photo: Bishop Ough with Paul and Donna Christen at the groundbreaking of the Dakota Wesleyan University and Avera Sports and Wellness Complex groundbreaking. Photo by David Stucke, Dakotas Conference Communications.
Including Avera and the Christen and Corrigan commitments, the school had a total of eight “cornerstone” donors who committed $250,000 or more to the project. The commitment of the community and alumni to make the facility happen is unmatched in DWU history, Novak said.
The new health and wellness center is expected to open in either December 2015 or January 2016. It will include a 200-meter indoor track surrounding three multipurpose courts, 7,000 square feet of space for exercise equipment and fitness training, a wrestling room, locker rooms, additional space for strength and conditioning and classrooms for seminars and leadership training.
“DWU is a university that has momentum. I think you all can feel it,” Paul Christen said. “The contributions of this institution to the state and to the region pay enormous benefits and dividends to the future. The students will come forward and make this a better place to live.”
Christen said community commitment is proof that Mitchell has a vested interest in seeing the university succeed. He said that as someone who lives in Huron, a city that lost a university, he knows how important having a college is for a community.
“It’s been a great day, let’s enjoy it. And a greater Wesleyan is coming,” said Christen in closing his speech.
(click here to read the complete story in the Daily Republic)
Bishop Ough closed the program with a blessing of the ground and the project
"Almighty and everlasting God, ever exalted yet always near;
Be present with us, gathered together here
To set apart this ground upon which we stand
For the mission of Dakota Wesleyan University
And to the honor and glory of your great name.
Bless this ground, a portion of your sacred creation,
And make it holy by your presence here.
Let your Spirit descent upon the Sport and Wellness Center
That will be built upon this site.
Fill with your shalom – your peace and wholeness –
All who shall come here to strengthened
Their hearts, minds, bodies and spirits.
We thank you, Lord God, for all your servants –
Benefactors, board members, administrators, faculty, contractors and workers –
By whose treasure, love, labor, skill and devotion
We will come into the great inheritance of this
Innovative and state-of-the-art Center for Sport and Wellness.
Watch over all who will labor on this site to build the Center.
Keep them safe and grant them mercy.
Even as we set apart this ground made holy by you, O God;
And prepare to build a facility with tons of steels’ concrete
And miles of wires and pipes,
We pray that we might also be set apart by you –
As living stones – and blessed to your kingdom purpose
Of offering new and abundant life to all your beloved people.
And, now, most holy and gracious God,
Help us to rejoice in this great work already begun
And to persevere to its completion,
So that this place may resound with praises
And the joyful voices of students, faculty, and Citizens of the Mitchell community,
Who come seeking health, wholeness, re-creation and learning.
We offer our prayers as this ground is broken
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen."