We are on the brink of an exciting new opportunity – the renovation of Whalen Gymnasium into a Health Sciences Center that can support our growing Health Sciences curriculum. The building will be a recognized center for research and entrepreneurship in Health Science studies; creativity in wellness and health; athletic endeavor, competition and achievement; and link the adventure of the unmatched outdoor world of Durango to the field of Health Sciences and the pursuits of our student-athletes.
The plan includes 52,000 square feet for:
- New classrooms and lab space for Health Sciences
- New athletic training/sports medicine facilities
- Faculty and staff offices
- New study and gathering spaces
- New auxiliary gym for lab purposes, as well as scheduling varsity and intramural athletics
- New women’s varsity locker room
- Expanded strength, conditioning, and fitness facilities
- Relocation of Whalen Gymnasium’s main entry point to create a better visitor experience
The Health Sciences Department
FLC’s newly formed Health Sciences department is our fastest growing program and has the largest number of students, containing the following areas of study:
- Exercise Physiology
- Exercise & Health Promotion
- Nutrition Science
- Public Health
- Sports Administration
Health and well-being, nutrition science, exercise science, physical therapy, and other areas of study enjoy an organically occurring link to real world application and clinical study at Fort Lewis College. This new building will be the arena for study AND application of knowledge.
Whalen Gymnasium and Skyhawk Hall are the current home for Health Sciences and Skyhawks Athletics. Overall, the facilities are tired and dated. Classes and labs have been forced into inappropriate and unaccommodating overcrowded spaces. Worn amenities, offices made from closet and storage spaces (quite literally), lack of common areas for student collaboration and learning, lack of lab space, tight quarters for athletic rehabilitation and physical therapy, and more all cloud Fort Lewis College’s desired reputation as a center for high-altitude study and training, world-class athletics programs, and excellence in the health sciences fields.
Perhaps even more enlightening is to compare Fort Lewis College to the likes of competing higher education institutions. The choice for potential students, faculty and administration is vast in this nation consumed with health, fitness, athletics, and well-being. Durango is a known mecca for outdoor pursuits, health and wellness, yet the institution of learning grounded here remains behind this area.
A single facility will allow Fort Lewis College to take advantage of commonalities and shared facilities to achieve space efficiencies and to reinforce the academic mission of the Health Sciences Department.
Proposed funding includes a combination of Capital Construction State of Colorado funding and funds raised by Fort Lewis College. The proportion of State funding is what provides the “wow factor” and the very tangible vision of having this complex come to reality.
Health Sciences Center
- Total cost: $31,017,091
- State of Colorado contribution: $27,915,381
- Fort Lewis College fundraising goal: $3,101,710
- 90% funded by the State of Colorado