By Wendy Gragg
Killeen Daily Herald
BELTON Placing the last few purple tiles and perfecting the last bit of carpentry, workers last week put the finishing touches on the Frank and Sue Mayborn Campus Center on the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor campus.
The school will introduce the public to the facility at a grand opening at 1:30 p.m. Friday.
The $17 million center on University Drive is named for Frank and Sue Mayborn, whose Temple-based charitable foundation helped make the construction possible.
Although there are still floors to be waxed and paint to dry, students and faculty members are already getting the most out of the facility. The 122,000-square-foot building, which has been more than a year and a half in coming, houses the exercise and sports science academic programs but also has plenty to offer every UMHB Crusader.
I am very pleased with the beauty and function of the new Mayborn Campus Center. It meets a number of long-standing needs for students, faculty and staff, UMHB President Dr. Jerry Bawcom said.
The facility has classrooms and labs, including a state-of-the-art wave pool that can be used for stress tests or swimmer evaluation. There are also offices for professors and coaches.
The schools old swimming pool remains at the facility, but it is deeper and skirted by a new deck. New flooring and fresh purple paint have given new life to the former gym, now the Mabee-Farris recreational gym.
The area that has possibly seen the most traffic, from students and faculty alike, is the fitness center. Nursing students Stephanie Little and Krysta Doyal, who work out at the campus center every day, sneaked in a morning workout Friday.
Its packed in the afternoon, Doyal said.
Little said shes thrilled with the new space and all the new equipment.
Its a lot better because we dont have to go out to the little portables, she said.
UMHB art professor Helen Kwiatkowski said shes also enjoying the new fitness center.
I think its always nicer to work out in a beautiful facility; the atmosphere makes a difference, she said.
The fitness center is a perk for students and full-time faculty only, but the new sports arena at the Mayborn Campus Center will be something for the community to embrace.
Bawcom said hes looking forward to the arenas first games. The 2,500-seat, largely purple arena will be put to the test Thursday in a basketball matchup with Howard Payne University.
Little, who also plays volleyball, said shes thankful for the new, large sports arena.
Itll be a lot nicer. (The old gym) was so crowded, people had to stand up because there was not enough room, Little said.
The arenas use as a special events center, for concerts and other attractions is what Kwiatkowski said shes glad to see.
I like that were going to be able to have big events on campus, we dont have to outsource that, Kwiatkowski said.
The late Frank W. Mayborn, one of the states leading figures in broadcast and print media, was the longtime owner and publisher of the Killeen Daily Herald and Temple Daily Telegram and owner of KCEN-TV. He was also prominent in the political arenas of Texas and Washington, D.C., advancing the interests of Central Texas. His wife, Sue Mayborn, is editor and publisher of the Herald and Telegram, and the owner and president of KCEN-TV.
Mrs. Mayborn also serves as president of the Frank W. and Sue Mayborn Foundation, which supports many religious, scientific, literary and education projects throughout Central Texas.
Contact Wendy Gragg at email@example.com