John Brown University announced today a renovation project for Walton Lifetime Health Complex, a comprehensive fitness center on the Siloam Springs campus, that is projected to cost between $4-$5.5 million. Along with the official unveiling of the project, JBU President Chip Pollard announced the university had received a $1.2 million lead gift for the renovation.

The project is a component of JBU’s $125 million Campaign for the Next Century: A Hope and a Future. The campaign, which ends on JBU’s centennial in 2019, was also announced today.

“Not only will renovating the WLHC improve service to our students, but the project will also increase the quality of life in our community,” said John Brown University President Chip Pollard. “The WLHC is the center of JBU’s athletic, intramural and wellness programs for students but it is also the only comprehensive fitness center in Siloam Springs, and well used.”

In addition to the lead gift, JBU announced that the City of Siloam Springs has made a preliminary commitment of $500,000 toward the renovation.

Originally built in 1988 with a lead gift from Sam and Helen Walton, the Walton Lifetime Health Complex is not only a hub for JBU students, but for the community as well.

The renovations will include a more accessible public entrance on the north side of the facility for easier access to the fitness center, tennis courts, community trail, and increased parking. The renovation will also expand the current HVAC system, provide new decking and mechanical systems for the indoor pool, renovate the locker rooms, and expand and improve the fitness areas.

“With growing usage and the age of the facility, significant renovation is needed to continue serving students and patrons well,” said Robyn Daugherty, JBU Athletic Director. “Currently, more than 1,000 community members, 350 faculty and staff members, and more than 1,300 students regularly use the facility.”