New ACU Student Recreation and Wellness Center opened Friday

Posted September 02, 2011

One of the most highly anticipated building projects in ACU's history became a reality this Friday, Sept. 2, at 11:30 a.m., when the Royce and Pam Money Student Recreation and Wellness Center officially opened.

Work began in March 2010 on the $21 million facility, a project capping the renovation and expansion of ACU's Gibson Health and Physical Education Center, the home of the newly named Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition. The 113,000-square-foot building features a weight-training and cardiovascular fitness center, four gyms, three racquetball courts, a lap pool and a leisure pool, a bouldering wall, a 1/8-mile suspended running track, two aerobics studios, a lighted outdoor basketball court, a juice and snack bar, classrooms and offices, as well as new facilities for the Medical and Counseling Care Center.

The Money Center's fitness center is outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment supplied by Technogym, Concept 2 and TKO, gear that also can be found at Olympic training facilities across the nation.

"This amazing project has been made possible through the gifts of generous donors," says Phil Boone, ACU vice president for advancement. “Recent tuition increases have not been applied toward construction costs for this magnificent building. The center is the result of ACU alumni and friends committing to make a difference in the lives of our students and this campus."

The building's namesakes are chancellor Dr. Royce Money and his wife, Pam. The couple served ACU as its 10th president and first lady for 19 years (1991-2010).

"With innovative programming, world-class facilities and outstanding leadership, we are focused on providing a variety of leisure services that pique the interests of students, faculty and staff, all of whom we hope will honor the Moneys' wonderful legacy," says Money Center executive director Brian Devost. "We believe we've created an environment that fosters positive social interaction, enhances the overall educational experience, and provides an opportunity for the development of healthy lifestyles."

The center opened for use at 11:30 a.m. Friday, but later that night, beginning at 11 p.m., students were invited to take part in RecFest, an all-night grand opening celebration featuring team tournaments, food, games, prizes and more.

"As the center's name implies, it is a facility intended primarily for the benefit of our students," says Dr. Jean-Noel Thompson, ACU vice president and dean of student life. "We would love to be able to open our doors to alumni and friends of the university on a regular basis, but we feel it's important to keep membership access limited to students, faculty, staff and emeriti -- at least for the first year while we're getting a feel for how it will be used."

Read more about the Center in the Abilene Reporter-News article. For more information, contact ACU Director of PR Grant Rampy at 325-674-2692.

Photo by Joy Lewis/Reporter-News