Grace College and Seminary broke ground on March 17 for a community meeting and exhibition center which will also be Grace’s premier venue for intercollegiate athletic contests, chapels, commencements, concerts, and other events.
Dr. Ron Manahan, president of Grace College and Seminary, was one of the speakers at the groundbreaking service, along with representatives of government, industry, and others. The site of the future facility is across Wooster Road from the Morgan Library on the Grace campus in Winona Lake, Indiana.
Part of the project is a $1 million remediation of a brownfield site adjacent to the building, which will be used as a parking lot. The four-acre site was contaminated by a former industry located there, and has been idle for 30 years. The cleanup is being conducted in conjunction with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
The Orthopaedic Capital Center, so named because local orthopaedic manufacturers are providing significant funding for the project, is a 60,000-square-foot facility that will seat up to 2,800 people for events. It will be used for business meetings and seminars, trade shows and exhibitions, and for college musical and athletic events. A 15,000 square foot convention/exhibition center is included.
Three of the area’s largest employers donated $1 million each to make the center possible. They are Biomet Orthopedics, Inc.; DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc.; and Zimmer Holdings, Inc.
Construction is scheduled to be completed in late May 2007, in time for the facility to house the 2007 spring graduation exercises for the college and seminary. The new facility will cost approximately $9.1 million. A feasibility survey of 300 local business and community leaders indicated that the center can accommodate approximately 95 percent of the events anticipated by community leaders.