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Whitworth invites public to attend Sept. 21 groundbreaking for recreation center

September 14, 2012

On Sept. 21, the Whitworth University Board of Trustees will officially break ground for the Whitworth Campus Recreation Center, which will be open to Whitworth students, faculty and staff in fall 2013. The public is invited to attend the groundbreaking ceremony, which will take place behind Whitworth’s Westminster Hall from 12:30-12:45.

Whitworth President Beck A. Taylor will give opening remarks at the ceremony. Other speakers will be Dayna Coleman-Jones, assistant dean of students and director of HUB and student activities; Brian Benzel, vice president for finance and administration; and Molly Hough, ’13, president of the Associated Students of Whitworth University.

Dick Mandeville, vice president for student life, says Whitworth’s need for more space for intramural sports has recently resulted in some games being scheduled at 11 p.m. He says Whitworth has also rented space from the nearby YMCA for intramural sports.

“Students have been included in the design of the building from the beginning,” Mandeville says. “Student input was decisive in identifying the components that are included in the new recreation center.”

One such example of a student request that will be featured in the Whitworth Campus Recreation Center is a rope-climbing wall, which will provide seven climbing stations and bouldering. The 32,000-square-foot center will also offer an elevated three-lane track, three basketball courts, storage for outdoor recreation equipment, and a new fitness center 30 percent larger than the existing Scotford Fitness Center.

Once construction has been completed, the U.S. Green Building Council will recognize the $8 million center as LEED Silver-certified. LEED is the acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

In lieu of the traditional turning-dirt-with-shovels celebration, the groundbreaking ceremony will conclude with program participants shooting basketballs into a hoop.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Michelle Drennen, assistant director of development, advancement events, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4974 or

Andrea Idso, interim public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or