Poor Proposed Choice of New Location for Wellness Center

1522

I recently heard of the plan that proposed moving the DePauw Health Wellness Center to the second floor of Lilly Center, taking out two classrooms and the upstairs gym. I find this to be an extremely short-sighted decision that is counterproductive to our students’ wellbeing.  

As the former Associate Athletic Director (retired in 2016) one of my responsibilities was to reserve spaces in Lilly Center for users. The upstairs gym was one of the most sought after spaces by student groups, especially after 4 p.m. by non-athletes. The upstairs gym has been used for basketball, volleyball, wrestling, fencing, badminton, soccer, cheerleading, intramurals, Derby Day practice, community youth soccer, senior pickleball, faculty noon hoops, and probably many other things that I have left out.

The point is, this is a space that is in high demand. 

The upstairs gym was included in the original Lilly Center building to meet the demand of the general student population. That was the case 38 years ago and has not changed.  

If this plan goes through, both mental and physical health professionals will meet with students in that space and remind them of the importance of healthy lifestyle choices of nutrition, sleep, and EXERCISE. How ironic is that? Not to mention the sustainability issue. Why put offices and exam rooms in a space with a 24’ tall ceiling? That’s a lot of unnecessary space to heat and air condition. Hopefully, it’s not too late to rethink this decision.  

Mary Bretscher 

Retired Associate Athletic Director

Professor Emerita of Kinesiology