Let's Get Physical
Submitted by tdemel on Thu, 09/10/2015 - 3:36pm
New $38.7 million facility named for University’s longest-serving president
KENNESAW, Ga. (Sept. 10, 2015) — Kennesaw State University students are starting the fall semester with a new $38.7 million, energy-efficient student recreation center. The 174,392-square-foot Dr. Betty L. Siegel Student Recreation and Activities Center is named in honor of President Emeritus Betty L. Siegel, the second and longest-serving president in Kennesaw State’s more than 50-year history.
A large crowd of students, faculty, staff and University supporters attended today’s ceremonial ribbon cutting, which featured comments from Kennesaw State President Daniel S. Papp, Siegel and members of her family. Student guides conducted tours of the bi-level facility and demonstrated the latest, state-of-the-art exercise and fitness equipment.
“Today’s formal dedication of the Dr. Betty L. Siegel Student Recreation and Activities Center marks a truly momentous occasion in the campus life of Kennesaw State,” said Papp. “By naming this beautiful building in Dr. Siegel’s honor, we pay homage to Kennesaw State’s president emeritus, her tremendous legacy and her student-first philosophy.”
Completed this summer, the Siegel Center is more than three times the size of Kennesaw State’s original student recreation building, which was opened in 2005. During the recent construction, some 127,217 square feet of new space was added and another 47,175 square feet of the original structure was renovated.
“This new Center has long been a key element of our vision for the Kennesaw Campus and today’s ribbon cutting event reflects our deep appreciation for Dr. Siegel’s contributions to the vitality of this University,” Papp said. “Her quarter-century of leadership at Kennesaw State is reflected in the growth of our new University and in the lives of our more than 100,000 graduates.”
Based on the results of student surveys conducted by Kennesaw State’s Department of Sports and Recreation, the new facility was designed to include:
· Two pools: an indoor competition swimming pool and an outdoor leisure swimming pool;
· One outdoor basketball court and four indoor courts;
· A multi-sport court;
· Eight tennis courts;
· Weight and fitness areas;
· A 47-foot rock climbing tower;
· An indoor track; and
· Other amenities such as sand volleyball and racquetball courts.
The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved the construction and naming of the recreation center during its October 2012 meeting. The center is financed by student fees of $85 per semester and bonds issued through the KSU Foundation and the Development Authority of Cobb County.
“This new building is truly impressive; located in the heart of the campus, it is a world-class facility, a gathering place where students can come to enjoy a variety of sports, recreational, and school activities,” said Siegel. “I am honored to have it bear my name, and I'm deeply grateful to all of you for making this happen.”
Siegel served as president of Kennesaw State from September 1981 until May 2006. She led the institution’s growth from 4,000 students with 15 undergraduate degrees to an institution with more than 18,000 students offering 55 graduate and undergraduate degree programs. She also was the first woman to lead an institution in the University System of Georgia.
Siegel now serves as president emeritus and as the distinguished chair of the Siegel Institute for Leadership, Ethics and Character. Since her retirement in 2006, she has launched a nonprofit foundation for global ethical leadership. She also serves as an adviser and consultant in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. In March 2013, the University System of Georgia Foundation presented the Elridge McMillan Award to Siegel in recognition of her lifetime of work in support of higher education.
“The Dr. Betty L. Siegel Student Recreation and Activities Center stands out as one of the best in the country with a wide range of health, recreation, sports and fitness options from which to choose,” said Kennesaw State’s Vice President for Student Affairs K.C. White. “Students will often consider the quality of recreational and sports facilities, along with the academics, when making their final decision on which university to attend.”
Hughes Group Architects provided the concept for the building design; Cooper Carry is the architect of record. The construction firm on the project was DPR Hardin Construction.
The facility is open Monday-Thursday, 6 a.m.- midnight; Friday, 6 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. - 11p.m. Faculty, staff, alumni and retirees may contact the Department of Sports and Recreation for membership rates.
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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering nearly 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive university with more than 33,000 students from over 130 countries. In January 2015, Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State University consolidated to create one of the 50 largest public universities in the country.
—Robert S. Godlewski