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New athletic center to be built at Martin Luther College

A large gift from a donor family is allowing Martin Luther College (MLC), New Ulm, Minn., to begin construction on a new athletic center. MLC will break ground for the building on April 10.

info graphic for article“This transformational gift built on the financial foundation of the generous gifts of hundreds of God’s people in our synod,” says Richard Gurgel, MLC president. “We are thankful to God for the generosity of this family and of so many other people.”

Named the Betty Kohn Fieldhouse, the athletic center will feature large practice areas, baseball/softball batting cages, golf simulators, and locker rooms in a 36,000-square-foot indoor turfed facility.

“The fieldhouse will serve our student body well,” says Gurgel. “It is also a significant beginning to our long-range plans for making our campus even more attractive to prospective students.”

sidebar for field house articleThe building is part of the facility improvement pillar of the “Equipping Christian Witnesses” campaign, whose goal is to help train a corps of Christian witnesses to meet WELS ministry needs in the future (see sidebar). After interviews, analysis, and research into a comprehensive campus site plan, MLC identified indoor athletic space and residence space as its two main campus priorities.

“This new indoor facility will provide a spacious area for our spring sports teams to practice. Our training in physical education also can be expanded significantly, and there will be opportunities for intramurals for hundreds of students to enjoy,” says Gurgel.

“To those who have given to the construction of this building, I can’t thank you enough,” says Nathan Pausma, an MLC freshman from Fox Lake, Wis. “Because of you, the Betty Kohn Fieldhouse will be more than just a college athletic fieldhouse. It will be a place where students and faculty can create stronger bonds with each other and where talents and abilities can be used for the glory of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

Plans are for students to be able to use the new athletic center by the beginning of 2022.

Volume 108, Number 3
Issue: March 2021

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