Bridwell Activities Center begins renovations

The initial stages for the Bridwell Activities Center renovations began Tuesday, Sept. 1. The current Daniel building will become the Bridwell Activities Center to create space for meetings, chapter rooms and collaborations. This $5 million project was authorized by the MSU Texas Board of Regents during its August 6 meeting. This new building will complement the Clark Student Center and is predicted by administration to enhance on-campus living for students.

“The Bridwell Activities Center and Cannedy Greek Commons will initially fill three roles: one, a space for our Greek community, including larger and more functional chapter rooms; two, new space for Student Government Association, Student Leadership and Involvement and for student organizations; and three, it will free up space in the Clark Student Center for MOSAIC and additional student and meeting spaces,” Keith Lamb, vice president for student affairs, said in a press release. 

The BAC will provide more space for student organizations, and functions previously held in the Daniel building have moved. The Facilities Services administration office is part of the renovation work for the College of Education on the first floor of the activity center. Purchasing offices and the warehouse were moved to a new building at 2733 Midwestern Parkway.

“It did take significant planning to clear the Daniel Building for the BAC. A new shop building had to be erected for the four facilities services shops that used to inhabit Daniel to create a space for the new shops building itself,” Kyle Owen, associate vice president for facilities services, said in a press release.

The renovation process is separated into two phases with each phase focusing on a floor of the building. The first phase is funded primarily by the J.S. Bridwell Foundation, while the second phase is neither scheduled nor funded.

“There are two phases to the renovation, essentially one for each floor.  The first phase, the first floor, will cost approximately $5,000,000 and will be funded by a generous gift from the J.S. Bridwell Foundation.  The second phase, the second floor, is estimated to cost around $3,800,000; this phase has not been scheduled and a source of funding has not been identified,” Lamb said.

The first phase will largely benefit MSU’s Greek Life organizations, according to Julie Gaynor, director of marketing and public information.

“I know in the first phase they are renovating part of the building for Greek chapters. We are gonna have the Cannedy Greek Commons there. Long term what we’re looking at is to have space for student activities and have space for [Student Government Association] student leadership organizations,” Gaynor said.

Shelbi Stogdill, political science, history and global studies senior and SGA president, stated that last semester SGA met with two architects for the BAC to give them their suggestions on what the building should include. This meeting was held during the planning phase. They suggested for the building to include open seating, more outlets and more advanced technology to make it feel modern. 

“We [met the architects] pretty early on in the [planning] process; we told [the architects that] for our room specifically we needed a meeting space and we still wanted our executive offices to be in there as well,” Stogdill said. “There’ll be a lot more organization meeting rooms as well for [other organizations] to hold events. It will be a good way to be more inclusive towards all the organizations because I feel like it’s really hard for organizations right now to get meeting spaces and have a…place that feels like they’re welcomed. I really do think that the building will contribute to that.” 

Lamb stated that the new renovations will benefit the everyday student, not only members of student organizations. These benefits include a coffee shop, ability to reserve the multipurpose and meeting rooms. Phase two is expected to provide more student entertainment, including a creativity studio and e-sports lounge.

“Student Leadership and Involvement will be officed in this location as part of phase one, as will the Mustangs Pantry and a coffee shop [and] grab-and-go food concept.  All students will have access to reserve and utilize the multi-purpose room and meeting rooms.  Phase two will include items such as student organization workspaces, team rooms, a creativity studio, an e-sports lounge, and additional meeting rooms,” Lamb said.

Gaynor said MSU will raise funds for the remaining phases. Much of the funding comes from the Boundless Opportunity Campaign, founded in 2016. The campaign is meant to span seven years and raise $50 million dollars. So far MSU has gained $67,321,510 dollars for the campaign as a result of donations.

The goals of the campaign are officially listed as, to “build a strong university community, pursue new student populations, position MSU as a destination residential university and further enrich the culture of engagement with the Wichita Falls Community.”