Changing the Game
Special Video Shows How Wittenberg Is Redefining Health, Wellness and Athletics
Springfield, Ohio – With hundreds of community members on hand to celebrate, Oct. 6, Interim President Dick Helton announced that Wittenberg has raised 83 percent of the funds required to begin construction of the university’s new Health, Wellness and Athletics Complex, signaling the official start of the public phase of the campaign.
“We are making history today at Wittenberg University,” Helton said. “By entering the public phase of the campaign, we are one step closer to reimagining and redefining health, wellness and athletics in NCAA Division III.”
Wittenberg's historic restoration and expansion project is designed to touch the lives of current students, staff and faculty, as well as many in the greater Springfield community.
In addition to restoring the 1929 field house and the 1982 Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Center, the university’s plan includes the construction of a new 125,000-square-foot indoor athletic facility attached to the north end of the HPER Center. The updated facilities will help with student recruitment and retention, and allow the university to attract regional and national events that it currently cannot host. Wittenberg has about 1,800 students and more than 350 employees.
“In the spirit of those that founded this University, this building physically and symbolically emphasizes the meaning of our work here: to holistically develop the next generation of leaders who by their example will make an impact in our world,” said Wittenberg Director of Athletics and Recreation Gary Williams. “This project also has the capacity to touch the lives of everyone associated with Wittenberg and the greater Springfield and Clark County community.”
The complex will reflect the interdisciplinary nature of academics and athletics at Wittenberg University. After ground is broken on March 24, 2017, construction will take at least 18 months to complete.
“Most of the funds raised for the new Health, Wellness and Athletics Complex have come through donations from our generous alumni and friends, led by Wes and Ann Bates, both members of Wittenberg’s Class of 1970, who donated a $10 million matching gift,” said Wittenberg Vice President for Advancement Wendy Kobler.
Wittenberg has also been awarded $3.9 million in federal historic tax incentives from the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program administered by the National Park Service, and $5 million in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits from the Ohio Development Services Agency. That final amount of tax credits is expected to be even higher.
"After more than three years of hard work and a lot of planning by the board, administration and our team of professionals, Wittenberg has the opportunity to restore our historic field house that has meant so much to so many of us and provide new, state-of-the art facilities for our current and future students, faculty and the Springfield community," said Wittenberg Board of Directors member and 1977 graduate Jim Wymer of WXZ Development.
“Wittenberg is one of the most important economic drivers in Clark County – they are in the top five and that is mostly because of the number of people they employ, the students they bring in and their ability to raise the quality of life through four-year degrees,” added Clark County Commissioner John Detrick, a 1964 Wittenberg graduate. “This is a blessing for Wittenberg. It gives Wittenberg 10 percent of what is needed to improve the quality of life at Wittenberg and the whole Clark County community.”
A special website has been created to offer complete information about Wittenberg’s Health, Wellness and Athletics Complex, its impact on the community, and how to get make a donation: www.wittenberg.edu/hwa.
-Office of University Communications-
A nationally ranked university for the liberal arts and sciences affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Wittenberg University has repeatedly been ranked throughout the years by the Princeton Review for the quality of its teaching and faculty, including 11th in the nation for “Best Classroom Experience” and 15th in the category “Professors Get High Marks” in the 2011 edition of Princeton’s annual Best Colleges guide. Most recently, Wittenberg earned the No. 4 spot in the category of “Most Accessible Professors,” and the university earned a spot on the “Best Buy” list in the 2017 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Wittenberg appeared in the Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges in 2013 and again in 2015. Additionally, Wittenberg currently has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any other four-year institution in the state, and has been recognized nationally for excellence in service and athletics.