Kennesaw State breaks ground on Dr. Betty L. Siegel Student Recreation and Activities Center

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New $38.7 million facility provides students with expanded recreational amenities and services…

Georgia (Oct 10, 2013) —  

New $38.7 million facility provides students with expanded recreational amenities and services
KENNESAW, Ga. (Oct. 10, 2013) -- Kennesaw State University broke ground today on the $38.7 million Dr. Betty L. Siegel Student Recreation and Activities Center. The facility, named for the University’s second and longest-serving president, is expected to open in December 2014.
“It is more than fitting that this facility is named the Dr. Betty L. Siegel Student Recreation and Activities Center, because it will stand as the embodiment of Kennesaw State’s president emeritus and her student-first philosophy,” said Daniel S. Papp, the current president of Kennesaw State University. “Dr. Siegel’s bold vision and quarter-century of leadership at the helm of this great institution planted the seeds for what our students enjoy today. The Siegel Center will reflect our deep appreciation for her contributions.”
The new 176,000-square-foot facility will more than triple the size of the existing 55,000-square-foot student recreational center built in 1967. Based on the results of student surveys conducted by Kennesaw State’s Department of Sports and Recreation, the new facility will house two pools — an indoor competition swimming pool and an outdoor leisure swimming pool — one outdoor basketball court and four indoor courts, a multi-sport court, eight tennis courts, a weight and fitness area, a rock climbing wall, an indoor track and other amenities such as sand volleyball and racquetball courts.
The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved the construction and naming of the recreation center during its October 2012 meeting. The center is financed by student fees of $68 per semester and bonds issued through the KSU Foundation and the Development Authority of Cobb County.
“For the 25 years I served as president of Kennesaw State, I enjoyed the unwavering support of family, the students, staff and administration at KSU, and this extraordinary community. I share this moment with them all. I am deeply honored to have this new facility named for me,” said Siegel.
Siegel served as president of Kennesaw State from September 1981 until May 2006.  She led the institution’s growth from 4,000 students with 15 undergraduate degrees to an institution with more than 18,000 students offering 55 graduate and undergraduate degree programs. She also was the first woman to lead an institution in the University System of Georgia.
Siegel now serves as the distinguished chair of the Siegel Institute for Leadership, Ethics & Character, and she holds the title of president emeritus of Kennesaw State.  Since her retirement in 2006, she has launched a nonprofit foundation for global ethical leadership. She also serves as an adviser and consultant in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. In March 2013, the University System of Georgia Foundation presented the Elridge McMillan Award to Siegel in recognition of her lifetime of work in support of higher education.
 “In surveying the students, we wanted to make sure that we were creating a facility that met their needs,” said Kennesaw State’s Vice President for Student Success Jerome Ratchford. “When this building is complete, I think the students will be very pleased. The quality of recreational and sports facilities is one of the factors students look at when they are deciding what school to attend, and to that end, this new facility will help in recruiting and retaining students at Kennesaw State.”
To accommodate the student recreational center’s expanded footprint, the existing trees on the site will be replaced with new specimen trees and shrubbery. In keeping with the University’s commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship, these natural resources will be used as mulch for the 1-acre KSU Eco-Garden and as retaining wall timbers for a planting of fruit trees.
The Eco-Garden is a project of Kennesaw State’s Students for Environmental Sustainability in collaboration with Culinary and Hospitality Services to create a “living, learning landscape” on campus.
The construction firm on the project is DPR Hardin Construction. The concept for the building design was provided by Hughes Group Architects, and Cooper Carry is the architect of record.
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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 24,600 from 130 countries.



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit