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Milligan center construction continues

Johnson City Press

Milligan College, TN (July 7, 2009) — Since the project’s announcement at the end of April, the construction of the Gilliam Wellness Center on the Milligan College campus has progressed at its target rate — on schedule to be completed by early 2010.

The 7,300-square-foot facility will house 15-20 cardiovascular machines, free weights, an aerobics room and a spinning room equipped with 10-15 spinning bikes. The walls will also be mounted with flat-screen televisions.

The construction was funded in full by the Richard B. Gilliam family of Charlottesville, Va. The fitness equipment was donated by Denny Mayes, a trustee of the college, and his wife, Cindy, of Alcoa.

Currently the focus of construction is paving the road adjacent to the wellness center site. The road will be widened with sidewalks added, and a parking lot will be constructed to hold 20 vehicles.

“We hope the parking lot and the road will be done when school starts,” Milligan College President Don Jeanes said. Construction, performed by Burleson Construction, would then continue on the building throughout the fall semester.

Jeanes said the center will be open to current students and faculty, and possibly to alumni. However, the details of access have not yet been decided.

The new building offers opportunities for jobs to both students and faculty. Work-study positions will be open to students to clean the machines and work the sign-in desk. A wellness center director will be hired to organize the hiring of aerobics and spinning instructors.

According to Jeanes, the students’ annual student activity fee may be raised from $100 annually to as much as $160 annually to cover costs for the center.

“There will be some increase,” said Vice President of Student Development and Sports Development Mark Fox. “But we don’t anticipate a significant increase because a large amount of it was financed by a grant.”

This summer Milligan’s campus has seen several other renovations. Work continues in the Paxson Communications Building, as the communications department undergoes both a curricular and a facility integration between the print journalism and multimedia departments. Several walls have been removed in Paxson, and new flooring is being laid.

The Wilson Auditorium was also stripped of its stadium seating and outfitted with about 40 computer work stations. The auditorium project was funded by Edgar Wilson.


MILLIGAN UNIVERSITY is a Christian liberal arts university in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The university offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan University, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.

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