September 23, 2009 8:15AM
Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius will join state leaders, university administrators, and an audience of PSU employees, students, and community supporters for a formal dedication of the new Pittsburg State University Student Recreation Center and Kansas National Guard Armory.
The ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27, on the north side of the facility, located at 2001 S. Rouse in Pittsburg. The dedication will include a Black Hawk Helicopter flyover, a proclamation by Pittsburg Mayor Pam Henderson, and an invocation by the Kansas Army National Guard.
Gov. Sebelius, along with Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, the Kansas adjutant general, will be featured speakers, along with Dr. Tom Bryant, president of PSU, and Donna Shank, chairwoman of the Kansas Board of Regents. Dr. Brad Hodson, vice president for University Advancement, Kansas Army National Guard Chaplain (Col.) Don Davidson, and Eddie Penner, president of the PSU Student Government Association, will also give remarks.
Plans for the $16 million project began more than a decade ago as a collaborative effort between the university, the City of Pittsburg, and the State of Kansas. The 97,000-square-foot facility is home to two PSU academic departments - the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation and the Department of Military Science - as well as the 772nd Engineer Company and Detachment 1 and 226th Engineer Company, both units of the Kansas National Guard's 891st Engineer Battalion. The building also houses the student fitness center featuring multipurpose basketball courts, a cardio/fitness center, an aerobics dance studio, fitness labs, locker rooms and classrooms.
The collaboration is the first time an armory has been located on a university campus in Kansas.
"Projects like this are shining examples of the cooperative spirit Kansans should have at all levels of government," said Gov. Sebelius. "This facility will benefit not only the Kansas National Guard and the students of Pittsburg State University, but the Pittsburg community at large."
The facility was made possible with a combination of city, state, federal and private funding. Dr. Bryant said that in addition to the unique collaboration between the university and the Kansas Army National Guard, he is also pleased that construction of the building did not require the institution a new student fee, often a necessity in such projects.
"This project is an example of how creative thinking can yield great benefits," Bryant said. "Because we were willing to do things in a different way, our students benefit both academically and physically and their total university experience is enhanced. At the same time, the state and the community also reap rewards."
Refreshments and tours of the facility will be available immediately following the dedication. In the case of rain, the ceremony will be held inside the building.
For more information, contact Joan Cleland in the Office of the President at 620-235-4101.