Celebrating the future

Erin Kennedy

Erin Kennedy

A celebration was held on Oct. 17 for the dedication and ribbon cutting of The Wellness Center.

“Today is a very momentous day,” said Alex Halbach, the 2006-2007 Students’ Association president who helped develop the building plans and worked closely with SDSU administration and faculty.

“Without the support of everyone gathered here, we wouldn’t be in the position that we are, with looking forward towards the future and looking toward continuing to develop SDSU, and make it a wonderful place to be at,” Halbach said.

The program included various speakers who have contributed to the success of the Wellness Center. Guests included SDSU Administration, Students’ Association presidents from the past four years, representatives from the Board of Regents, the city of Brookings and EAPC Architects. Tours were given after the dedication, a ribbon cutting was held and a luncheon was provided.

“I believe this building will always be a symbol of what student vision and initiation, hard work and responsibility can accomplish,” said former SDSU President Peggy Gordon Miller in a statement that was read by Halbach.

The concept of the Wellness Center has been in process for nearly 15 years. It was created through the desire for more fitness and exercise opportunities for the SDSU campus and for the community of Brookings.

When 2005-2006 Students’ Association President Ryan Brunner came into office, he had an initiative for this project, and through voting to increase student credit hours by $2.75, this dream of a student wellness center became a reality.

After the project was underway with a $6 million budget, Brunner and the Students’ Association discovered that would not be enough. A petition was started, and after 2,800 students had signed the petition for more funding for this project, the future of the SDSU Wellness Center was looking brighter and brighter.

Through the efforts and petitioning of Brunner, the Students’ Association and the students of SDSU, the $12.1 million dollar Wellness Center went from idea to reality.

“Today we celebrate the future, and what a bright future it will be,” said Brunner. “Because of the collaborative efforts of those who helped with this project, SDSU will be a great Division I university in the future.”

When Alex Brown came into the position of president of the 2007-2008 Students’ Association, it was all about making decisions and getting his hands dirty. Brown and others went to the North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota, Mankato campuses to tour their wellness facilities and see how they could develop SDSU’s facility.

“It was excitement from beginning to end,” said Brown. “To see the building as a shell, envision where the office spaces would be, it was truly exciting.

“So many people have helped make this dream a reality: the state of South Dakota, the Board of Regents, the SDSU Foundation, the city of Brookings, President Chicoine, all of the senators and student leaders and everyone else who helped. I just can’t thank you enough,” he said.

Alan Dostert, president of EAPC Architects, concluded that this was a good and exciting project to work on because of the people involved with SDSU.

“This project, when it’s all said and done, is a collection of brick and mortar,” said Dostert. “But this program has a greater good for students, not just on the academic side, but on the total health and wellness, which is something that will stick with them for the rest of their lives. ? We were very happy to be a part of this.”

“I have extreme gratitude to the students of SDSU,” said Brown. “This building is a testament to the power of student leadership and their desire. This is something that students wanted, and now they have it. Today, as always, is a great day to be a Jackrabbit.”

#1.882323:2373001666.jpg:Wellness.Center.COURTESY.PR.CMYK.jpg:The new Wellness Center was dedicated on Oct. 17.:Courtesy of University Relations