John Brown University announced today a lead gift from the Simmons family of Siloam Springs to help fund the $5 million renovation of the Walton Lifetime Health Complex (WLHC). With the addition of this gift, more than $4 million of the $5 million needed to complete the project has been given or pledged.
With more than 2,600 students, employees and community members regularly using the WLHC, this renovation will breathe new life into the dated facility. Plans include a new community entrance, expanded fitness areas, an expansion of the HVAC system, new pool mechanical systems and decking, and new locker rooms.
“The Simmons family have been a critical champion of healthy communities in Northwest Arkansas, and we are deeply thankful not only for their financial support, but also for their leadership in improving the quality of life in our community,” said Dr. Chip Pollard, JBU president. “Mark Simmons’ wisdom has been invaluable to us in his decades-long service as a JBU trustee.”
“We are pleased to be able to partner with JBU in renovating the Walton Lifetime Health Complex,” said Mark Simmons, chairman of Simmons Foods. “The WLHC has been a great place for our community and JBU’s students to stay fit and healthy. The renovation will ensure the facility is top-notch for years to come.”
The project is being conducted in phases to allow for facility usage during construction. The renovation is scheduled to be complete by summer 2017.
The project is part of JBU’s $125 million Campaign for the Next Century, which is scheduled for completion in 2019 during the university’s centennial. The campaign has five priorities: endowment and
annual scholarships ($35 million), estate gifts for scholarships and program endowment ($25 million), endowment for academic excellence ($10 million), new and renovated facilities ($30 million), and program support ($25 million).
About Simmons Food
Simmons Foods is an integrated supplier of poultry, pet food and feed ingredient solutions based in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Founded in 1949, Simmons is a privately owned and family-led business. With 5,800 employees across more than 30 facilities, Simmons is one of the largest employers in Arkansas with additional operations in Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, New Jersey and Ontario, Canada.