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Posted: 5/30/03

The first phase of Wayland's Laney Center will include a gym, track, weight training and aerobics areas.

Wayland plans new student recreation center

PLAINVIEW–Wayland Baptist University will break ground by the end of this year on phase one of the Pete and Nelda Laney Student Activities Center.

President Paul Armes announced May 16 that the 51,010-square-foot facility will be constructed in two phases in order to expedite its use.

The first phase, to be constructed at a cost of $4.4 million, will include a double gymnasium, indoor track, weight training and aerobics area, classrooms, dressing rooms and a student lounge. The second phase will add an Olympic-size natatorium.

University officials said the activity center will provide a much-needed fitness and wellness facility for students. The facility also will be the center for intramural sports.

Currently, Wayland has no recreational athletics facilities for students.

“I see this center as becoming the heart and soul of student life on campus,” said Wayland Vice President Russ Gibbs.

The building will be named in honor of State Rep. Pete Laney, D-Hale Center, and his wife, Nelda, to recognize their support for higher education in Texas.

In an effort to meet the students' needs more quickly, administrators have deviated from the original plan in order to construct the planned facility in two phases.

Armes told members of a fund-raising steering committee the new activities center “has greater potential for the recruiting and retention of students than any other project we've done in the last 10 years.”

“We believe the Laney Center will serve as an enticement to stay on the campus and in the area,” he said. “This helps us maintain a safe and secure supervised environment for our students as they recreate.”

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