23 January 2013
KOKOMO, Ind. —CommunityFirst Bank of Indiana demonstrated its support for Indiana University Kokomo with a generous gift of $15,000 for the Milt and Jean Cole Family Wellness and Fitness Center.
In addition, Duke Energy recently donated $10,000 for the center, which is on schedule to open this summer.
"We are excited about getting closer to reaching our campaign goal and couldn't do it without the support of businesses like CommunityFirst and Duke Energy," said Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke. "We continue to seek community support for this center that will ultimately benefit the health and well-being of our students."
The wellness and fitness center will be a 20,500 square-foot facility. Amenities include a jogging and walking track, cardio and strength training area, two multipurpose rooms, a health studies classroom, locker rooms, and a reception area.
Mike Stegall, president and CEO of CommunityFirst, toured the construction site after presenting the check to the campus.
"We're sold on this project," he said. "My board unanimously agreed it would be a wise use of our resources to support it. We understand the importance of what IU Kokomo brings to the community from our vantage point, and what it means for economic development. The campus is a great partner and a great ally."
When construction began in September, the previously unused space under the IU Kokomo Library contained nothing but the rocks that lined its floor.
More than 50 truckloads of concrete later, it is well on its way to becoming the Milt and Jean Cole Family Wellness and Fitness Center.
John Sarber, IU director of construction management, said the biggest accomplishment so far is putting down the concrete floor in the part of the space formerly known as "the rock room," for its rock floor.
"It was a feat getting that floor in," he said. "It's come a long way."
The exterior walls are framed and insulated, and concrete block walls are in place for the men's and women's locker rooms, along with office space and a laundry room.
A recessed floor marks where fitness rooms will be, with wood gym flooring, soundproof walls, and stereo systems. These rooms will house fitness classes when completed. White boxes are hanging on one wall, showing where the big screen televisions will be placed for those using treadmills and other equipment.
Metal framing is going up for office space, and most of the ductwork is completed, Sarber said.
"We are on schedule," he said. "Everything is moving forward quickly."
Kelly Goad, director of the development, said campus and community partnerships are crucial to making the facility a reality.
"Having the support of CommunityFirst Bank and Duke Energy exemplifies their dedication to Kokomo and our region, by supporting health and wellness initiatives for our students, faculty, and staff," Goad said. "Their generosity is a wonderful illustration of their passion to support our students, university, and community."
For more information about the wellness and fitness center, the fundraising campaign and tax benefits of giving, go to iuk.edu/wellnessfitnesscenter or contact Goad at 765-455-9407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.