Monday, August 8, 2022

Campus changes to come following Board of Trustees meeting

June 24, 2022
An atendee of the board of trustees meeting wears an MSU Swim and Dive shirt on June 24, 2022.
An atendee of the board of trustees meeting wears an MSU Swim and Dive shirt on June 24, 2022. —
Photo by Rahmya Trewern | The State News

The Board of Trustees met on Friday, June 24. At the meeting, authorizations to plan campus changes were approved.

The board approved authorizations to plan two new buildings on campus: a plant and environmental science building and an engineering and digital innovation building.

Provost Teresa Woodruff said the creation of these two buildings will strengthen the university's goal of retaining high nationwide rankings.

“These two projects are critical components for building on MSU's strength as a globally recognized leader in plant and environmental science and will lead to new ideas and transformational learning and research in our physical and symbolic gateway to the digital future at MSU,” Woodruff said. “These are brick and mortar priorities that enable our intellectual capital to be further built and bridge our excellence of the past to an exciting, expectant future.”

A zoning variance to add an entrance canopy addition to Office Tower #3 of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams was also approved.

Phase II of the renovations and addition to the football complex can begin. The project, budgeted at $67 million, will allow construction to continue. The board authorized Phase I at its April 2022 meeting. Phase II's concepts include a new locker room design and weight room as well as updates to the south lobby.

“Coach Tucker and (Athletic Director Alan) Haller have been very diligent in raising funds for this project,” budget and finance committee chair Melanie Foster said. “The vast majority of the funds have already been raised and the slight gap is going to be a big loan to athletics that will be potentially extinguished with the continued support of private donors. So this is vastly a privately funded process.”

President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. noted the complex will house an on-site mental health unit. All athletes will be able to access counselors and sports psychologists.

“It's gonna really put us near the top of the list, I think, in terms of facilities,” Stanley said. “But it's all about student well being and student health. It's really designed for student athletes and that's what we're excited about.”

MSU athletes and alumni who used to be members of the university's swim and dive team spoke during public comments to commemorate the anniversary of Title IX and support the reinstatement of the team.

Alumna Kyle Roggenbuck from the class of 1983 said when she swam at MSU, the women had to swim during the usual dinner time because the men had the pool at a more convenient time. She said when they went on trips, the women were organized four to a room while the men had two.

Although Title IX rules were still switching over at the time, she said she found a home with her fellow female athletes.

“What I found was a place where I could realize my potential to be a part of a family and to learn leadership, discipline and make lifelong friendships,” Roggenbuck said.

Fellow alumna Mary McClellan Lamb, who also swam on the team, used hers and her children's experiences as an example of the discipline athletics can foster.

“Competitive swimming is grueling,” Lamb said. “It fosters grit and resilience, traits our world needs now more than ever. MSU swim and dive programs develop leaders, strong and high-value human beings, parents and future ambassadors. It attracts strong students who make a difference in our world. If MSU continues to eliminate this program, they'll be missing out on these opportunities.”

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