Centre College Announces New $50M Initiative Devoted to Wellness & Athletic Excellence

The largest, most comprehensive construction project to date at Centre College, an NCAA Division III institution, will create a 135,000-square-foot facility devoted to wellness and athletic excellence. It will benefit the entire campus community and set a new standard for holistic education at top-ranked residential liberal arts colleges across the nation.

Designed in partnership with Cincinnati-based architects MSA Sport, the $50 million project reflects Centre’s commitment to invest in facilities and programs that enhance student success, hone leadership skills, and prepare graduates for lives of impact.

“This new facility will allow us to continue attracting talented students from around the nation and across the globe not only to work with our world-class faculty but also to participate in a premier athletic and wellness program with dedicated coaches and staff who teach important leadership skills such as teamwork, resilience, and determination,” said Centre President Milton Moreland.

“In the process,” he emphasized, “Centre will extend into the next century its 200-year-plus history of producing great leaders.”

As part of a campus-wide strategic planning effort, it was clear that expanded wellness and athletic facilities were needed to continue the long history and clear mission of training leaders who can make a difference in the world.

“This significant investment exemplifies Centre’s continuing commitment to excellence,” Moreland said. “It will strengthen our earned reputation as one of the nation’s foremost colleges focused on leadership development and career readiness.”

He added, “The Initiative for Wellness and Athletic Excellence represents a transformational moment for Centre College and will have a profound impact on our ability to offer a deeply holistic academic experience, elevating our mission to develop mind, body, and spirit.”

An aggressive fundraising campaign to support this new initiative is already in progress. Early commitments, including two lead gifts, exceed three-quarters of the projected cost, leaving approximately $12 million to raise to fully fund the project. This substantial investment reflects the desire of the lead donors to challenge the Centre community, known for its pride and generosity, to share this vision and take the mantle of propelling their future giving to an even higher potential.

The expansive new building will continue a series of recent campus construction projects totaling more than $30 million and is an important next step in the strategic plan to equip the College to better serve its mission and the needs of families and students for the next 50 years.

“Centre is accelerating out of the global pandemic by investing in spaces that will enhance the student experience, grow enrollment and provide increased health and wellness opportunities for the entire campus community,” said Mark Nunnelly, chair of the Centre College Board of Trustees.

» ALSO SEE: UMaine Unveils $110M Upgrade to Athletic Facilities

Included in the overall construction project, Farris Stadium, built in 1923, will be transformed to provide world-class facilities for

football, men’s lacrosse, and track and field, and also provide new seating, hospitality spaces, and an upgraded press box. In addition, Gary Wright Field will be relocated to create a new and enhanced experience for Centre’s baseball team.

Key components of the initiative for wellness and athletic excellence building design include:

• A 10-lane, 50-meter pool with a moveable bulkhead, integrated diving well with 1-meter and 3-meter diving boards, and seating for 700

• A six-lane, 200-meter indoor track and turf infield with event seating for 800; this area can easily be increased exponentially by using the turf infield and will double as a large space for campus events, such as the annual Commencement ceremony, concerts, and debates

• A 6,000-square-foot strength and wellness center

• A nutrition center that includes an educational component

• Hospitality and engagement areas

• Locker rooms and multipurpose event spaces for activities such as yoga

• An enhanced Athletics Hall of Fame