By: Logan Reusser
Editors note: This piece was written before COVID-19 caused SU to close.
Twenty-two Million Dollars.
Twenty-two million dollars is not a small amount of money. Let me propose this question to you: What would you do with that amount of money? Would you buy a house? Would you buy some of the fanciest cars in existence?
Shenandoah University raised 22 million dollars for the James R Wilkens Athletics and Events Center.
The Athletics and Events center has now been opened for roughly two years and it has brought some great things to campus such as the Harlem Globetrotters and an indoor venue for graduation. But for that amount of money could the university have used it in another capacity instead of building this gym?
I spoke with Professor Brian Wrigley, who served as the Interim Athletic Director while the gym was being built. Professor Wrigley said, “ …In its name it’s the Athletics and Events center so we can provide events such as Harlem Globetrotters, Graduation and Apple Blossom events”.
Wrigley also said how the university used to pay $100,000 a year for a giant tent to cover the field behind the student center for graduation and how now it is inside in the A/C. The University also gets great advertising because when people drive on Interstate 81, they are bound to see the enormous building that says ”Shenandoah University” on the side facing the highway.
But there are facility issues all around our campus. The baseball and softball team share fields with the local high school teams. The dorms have multiple issues with them, including: the door near Funkhouser hall and the cafe not working, and multiple A/C problems. The weight room in Aitkens is not big enough for more than 40 people to be in at once and the terrible parking situations.
With all these issues, why was the choice made to spend twenty-two million dollars on this one new building.
After two years and dozens of events, should we be asking: Was it worth it?