SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Evangel University has begun construction on its new 70,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art athletic complex, which will house a number of campus athletic programs.
The complex includes the Valor Center, a 40,000-square-foot arena that will host the university’s volleyball and basketball teams. The arena will include team changing rooms, practice and training facilities, and new pitches for each team’s home games.
The center will also include a concession hall, meeting room, VIP lounge, additional meeting rooms and staff offices. Visitors and students can gather for pre- and post-game events at the Valor Center’s south entrance plaza.
In addition, the Randy Rowden Training Facility at the south end of the new complex will be 30,000 square feet and will primarily house logistics offices and operations for Evangelis soccer and football teams. The training facility will include a world-class weight room, the athletic director’s office, 2,500 square feet of event and meeting space, and VIP boxes overlooking Coryell Field, where the football teams play.
Other additions to the sports complex include a renovation of the Walther Hall dormitory and the installation of an artificial turf pitch for intramural sports.
The new complex and facility upgrade is part of Evangel’s Here. Now.” campaign which has currently raised just over $18 million.
Collectively, the new projects represent the first major construction on campus since groundbreaking for Ralph M. Riggs’ Administration Building in 2009.
“There is incredible momentum on the Evangel campus right now,” Erin Hedlun, senior director of marketing and communications, told The Heartlander. “There are so many exciting developments happening now and in the future as we build the Valor Center. I think our Evangelical fellowship and students rejoice at the opportunity to come together in common spaces that have never been seen on campus.”
According to Hedlun, the positive response from the community has been overwhelming and, whether related or not, enrollment for next year’s fall semester is already up 11%, while universities nationwide are seeing their enrollments fall.
Evangel University recently updated the fraternity, renovated the chapel, and is now looking to the future to complete the $24 million “Here” of the campus. Now.” Fundraiser. According to Hedlun, the university also wants to remodel all of the dormitories on campus and build a new sports stadium.
“If we complete this first[project]we hope that it will get the domino to start raising funds and move on to the second,” she said. “This is Evangel’s season and the moment to step into the light. I think we offer something really important for students who really want to continue their education in a place where everyone on campus together speaks into their lives through the lens of a biblical worldview. I think right now there is a real need for this in higher education. We are really excited and looking forward to the next step here.”