This time next year, if all goes well, athletes, students and fans of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College’s sports teams will have an opportunity to enjoy something brand new — their own recreation center and gymnasium.
The college announced it is nearing its $11 million fundraising goal for the project and has decided to move forward with a groundbreaking next month. Officials hope to open the facility’s doors for the beginning of the 2014-’15 basketball season.
SMWC officially began raising funds for the project as part of its Pomeroy Pride campaign a year ago. Throughout the ensuing months, those spearheading the project found out what so many others know about the strength and quality of Terre Haute’s higher education infrastructure. If you’ve got a good, forward-looking program that serves its constituency, people will support it — in a big way.
The lack of a facility for both intramural sports and intercollegiate use has long been a recognized deficiency for the college. As officials focused on the future, it became more and more apparent that such a facility was an immediate need.
SMWC President Dottie King demonstrated impressive leadership in launching the campaign to fund the recreation center. Raising money for an athletic building at the women’s liberal arts college had its challenges, but King and her team made it clear they would not be denied this opportunity to make the college better for current and future students.
King was also quick to point out that the success of this project does not just reflect on the college.
“This is really not only a Saint Mary-of-the-Woods project,” King said on Friday in announcing the movement forward. “It’s a community project now.”
The fundraising campaign is still a bit shy of its goal. About $1.3 million more is needed. But there is enough money available to get started, and officials are confident the rest will be raised.
We applaud the vision and tenacity SMWC’s officials have brought to the project, and we look forward to the day in the not-too-distant future when they can cut the ribbon on the new building.