Onstead groundbreaking scheduled

October 17, 2014 | Paul Anthony
onstead

Donors have given more than $41 million of the needed $45 million to a trio of science projects on the south side of the Abilene Christian University campus, paving the way for groundbreaking on the Onstead Science Center next month.

A ceremonial groundbreaking event is scheduled for after Chapel on Monday, Nov. 10, outside the Foster Science Building, which will be transformed into a state-of-the-art center for ACU’s world-class science programs. The event is open to the public, with an invitation-only lunch to follow for major donors and supporters.

The Robert R. and Kay Onstead Science Center will be the third of five major projects to break ground as part of the $75 million Vision in Action initiative. The Engineering and Physics Laboratories at Bennett Gymnasium is scheduled to be complete by January, and a new stadium for the track and field and soccer programs is scheduled to open by April.

The science center’s name honors Kay Onstead, who made a $10 million cornerstone gift to the facility, and her late husband, Robert, a former ACU trustee.

Crews are expected to begin Phase 1 of the project – which comprises demolishing Walling Lecture Hall and constructing a new glass-walled lobby on the building’s north side – after the semester ends in mid-December.

As with the previously begun projects, construction on Phase 1 moved forward once enough money was raised to complete that phase. Construction of Halbert-Walling Research Center, the third of the three Vision in Action science projects, will begin once the remainder of the $45 million is raised. Fundraising also continues for Wildcat Stadium, Abilene Christian’s first on-campus football facility in more than 70 years.

Groundbreaking ceremonies for both of those facilities are expected to take place in the spring.