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Syracuse University Board of Trustees chairman donates $5 million to health and wellness center project

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The Barnes Center at The Arch will include a fitness center, indoor sports courts, an elevated running track and a multi-floor rock climbing wall.

UPDATED: May 19, 2017 at 2:34 p.m.

The new recreation and wellness center to be constructed at Syracuse University received a $5 million gift from SU Board of Trustees chairman Steven Barnes, the university announced Friday.

The complex, which will be called the Barnes Center at The Arch, will replace Archbold Gymnasium, according to Campus Framework documents released by SU on May 15.

Barnes, an SU alumnus and Board of Trustees chairman since 2015, told he and his family wanted to invest in the project because it represents a commitment to the “whole student” in both academic and extracurricular pursuits.

He added the project is one more way to attract diverse students to SU.

The Barnes Center will include a fitness center, indoor sports courts, an elevated running track and a multi-floor rock climbing wall visible from the exterior of the building, according to Campus Framework documents.

The Counseling Center, the Office of Health Promotion, SU Health Services, Recreation Services and Office of Student Assistance will be relocated to the Barnes Center. The new facility will be dedicated to “providing a student experience that balances academics with extracurricular and recreational pursuits,” according to the documents.

The planned renovation of Archbold into the Barnes Center is a part of SU’s Campus Framework plan, a 20-year guide to the physical development of the SU campus. A construction timeline for the Campus Framework projects, including construction of the Barnes Center, has not been released.

SU officials estimated the complete cost of renovations to Archbold to be around $50 million.

Funding for Campus Framework projects will come from a variety of sources, including tuition and fees, grants, contracts and donations, SU Vice Chancellor and Provost Michele Wheatly said at a forum in February.

The $5 million gift from Barnes is the second seven-figure donation to Campus Framework projects, according to the SU News release. Steven Einhorn, another SU trustee, and his wife Sherry gave a $1 million gift to support the University Place promenade project last fall.


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