Thursday, June 26, 2008
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'Momentous occasion' for Lincoln College

Groundbreaking for new Lincoln Center multiplex draws crowd

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[June 26, 2008]  Calling it a "momentous occasion," Lincoln College President John Hutchinson emphasized the magnitude of significance in the groundbreaking for the new Lincoln Center. The occasion yesterday on the north end of the campus brought a throng upwards of 300 Lincoln residents, alumni, dignitaries and friends of Lincoln College to take part in the event.

RestaurantIn his opening remarks, Hutchinson mentioned many individuals and groups, from college board members to those who arranged the groundbreaking ceremony. He asked them to stand to be acknowledged for their efforts in bringing the day to reality. In a lighter moment when he recognized the faculty and staff, acknowledging that many have waited a long time for this day, he said it would be all right to "go ahead and jump up and down."

"In moments such as these, we in positions like mine tend to veer away from reality," Hutchinson told the crowd. "I do not exaggerate nor veer from reality when I say this is the most important building to be built on this campus in the last century. I do not exaggerate nor veer from reality when I say this will be the most important new building on campus for several decades to come."

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The new center "will allow us to do things we couldn't do before," said John Blackburn, Lincoln College board president. "Lincoln College is really going places." Blackburn also confirmed what everyone in attendance understood: "History was made today."

The new Lincoln Center will house both an athletic convocation center and the Lincoln Museum. It is planned that the new center will become the "heartbeat" of athletic events, campus celebrations, student activities, community activities and tourist visitation.

"This center is absolutely critical to the future success and viability of Lincoln College," Hutchinson said. "The arena and fitness/training center are essential to attract students in an increasingly competitive environment. The Lincoln Heritage Museum at last will have a home fitting the importance of their collection."

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He added that the new center would fulfill many needs, not only for the college but for the community as well. "The arena and fitness center will be available to the area's residents, schools and other groups for special events," he said.

Although the new center will be state-of-the-art and modern in every respect, the new building will blend into the campus setting. The detailing at the entrances is an adaptation of the existing design on University Hall, which was built in 1865 and is the most significant and historic campus landmark.

Hutchinson made it a point to tell those gathered that naming rights are still available for some of the center's areas and rooms. This includes naming rights to the museum for $1,000,000 and the building itself for $2,000,000.

A complete fact sheet on the Lincoln Center is available below. (Fact sheet)

[Text from Lincoln College news release and LDN]

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Fact sheet

The Lincoln Center

DonutsProject description: The Lincoln Center on the campus of Lincoln College is a unique two-story athletic and convocation center that includes the Lincoln Heritage Museum.

Location: On Nicholson Road, north of Heritage North and West residence halls, on the northeast corner of the Lincoln College campus.

Cost of building: $8.4 million.

Design: The architectural design of the new building, while modern in every respect, will blend into the campus setting by having Italianate Victorian style of architecture with attributes similar to University Hall. The large, new arena will contain spectator seating for up to 1,400 people. A stage at one end of the gym completes the usefulness of the gym for nonathletic events, such as commencement services and performances.


The Lincoln Center (athletics): 42,500 gross square footage

The Lincoln Center will be the focal point for campus celebrations, community involvement and athletic events. The center will include a state-of-the-art physical fitness and health facility for use by students, faculty and community members. The facility will feature multipurpose athletic courts on the ground level, a wrestling area on the second floor and several locker rooms for both indoor and outdoor sports. The entire athletic department will move to the new building once it's completed.

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The Lincoln Center Fitness Center (athletics): 6,170 gross square footage

The fitness center will be a state-of-the-art health facility offering Flex and Paramount strengthening equipment; a large, well-equipped free-weight room, including the new Leverage equipment; and a cardio-theater room offering a variety of aerobic equipment to meet most individual needs and interests. There will be TVs, CD players, cassette tape players, VCRs and a choice of radio stations, all of which can be watched or listened to on private headphones.

The Lincoln Heritage Museum at Lincoln College: 9,000 gross square footage

The Lincoln Heritage Museum is a major repository for Lincoln and period artifacts, including Lincoln's desk from the Illinois Legislature, a snippet of Lincoln's hair, the nameplate from the railroad car that bore his coffin, accessories from Mary Todd Lincoln's mourning clothes and even a bloody ribbon from the night of the assassination at Ford's Theatre. The collection is valued at approximately $3 million. The main corridor separating the gym from the Lincoln Museum will be home to a special Logan County Hall of Fame, which will further bind the college to the community as it showcases the achievements of local citizens. The museum also contains the college's well-known Hall of Presidents, which features autographs and letters from every president of the United States.

Educational multimedia classroom: 1,972 gross square footage

The Lincoln Center also will provide a state-of-the-art classroom, with cutting-edge technology, that will seat about 100 students.

Architect and construction management: CORE Construction, Morton.

[Text from file received from Lincoln College]

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