By Jenny Gregory


The service, which was attended by members of the Truett-McConnell Board of Trustees, faculty and staff, and the Cleveland community, signified the start of construction on the future Student Recreation Center (SRC).

“It’s a long arduous attempt that’s finally come to our students,” Caner said while giving the opening remarks. “The students not only have the dorms they deserve and the academia they deserve but they are now going to have the Student Rec Center that proves to be a bridge not only to another academic building, but of course to what we hope to be the highlight of this building project: which is going to be our chapel.”

Chris Eppling, Vice President for Student Services and Athletics, shared his excitement of what the ceremony signifies: “I’m really excited to see how the tree cutting ceremony began the process of the physical and tangible idea of the Student Recreation Center rising from the ground,” Eppling said. “As we cut trees down, we need to remember that the Student Recreation Center will be rising up to better serve our students and help better equip them to achieve the call that God has on their life.”

An asset to the community

The Student Recreation Center will prove to be an asset to the local community as well as to TMC students. Gary Jarnagin, TMC’s Director of Financial Development, shared of the significant role TMC and this building project will play in the local community: “As the college grows numerically, we have also grown physically. Truett-McConnell College is continuing to partner with Focus Design Builders and Wake Field Beasley to develop our master plan and execute that plan.”

“Our previous construction and renovation projects have returned 60 to 70 percent of total costs back to the White County area,” Jarnagin continued. “As a top-five employer in White County, the Student Recreation Center will only continue to multiply local jobs. The $13 million dollar Student Recreation Center should result in an estimated $7.8 to $9.1 million dollars being returned to White County.”

Trustee member, David Baker echoed Jarnagin’s enthusiasm: “I think it will be an attraction to the new students and an attraction to the community to have somewhere they can come and exercise, socialize and take benefit of what the recreation center will have.”

At 69,000 sq. ft., and offering amenities like racquetball courts, an indoor aquatic center, and a student lounge to name a few, the SRC provides a number of opportunities for both TMC students and community members.

John Howard, also a TMC trustee, expressed his excitement for the project and added that the SRC “will add zest, zeal, and energy to the Cleveland community not only for the students on campus but for the folks living here as they can plug into the various activities offered.”

Building a future for TMC

As the SRC provides many exciting benefits to students and staff members, the excitement of the beginning stages of the project is felt across campus. “It’s been a big factor in promoting the school because students look forward to coming to a campus that is thriving and growing,” said TMC Alum and Admissions Representative Jacob Spencer. “Letting them know that we do have new things coming and we are able to actually show them the plans allows them to see the growth here at Truett-McConnell.”

Although senior Zach Smith will not get to see the building come to fruition, he echoed excitement for the school’s growth: “I’m excited for all the potential it will bring to this campus and community,” Smith said. “If the Student Recreation Center was here today I would end up there every evening whether to play racquetball, swim, grabbing a snack, or study.”

The Student Recreation Center is scheduled to break-ground in August or September 2015, and be completed in twelve months, barring any unforeseen weather delays. The hope is for the SRC to be open for the school’s incoming freshman class in August 2016.

As of March 30, 2015, Truett-McConnell has raised $998,500 since May 1, 2014, bringing the total cash, commitments, and investments for the SRC to $5,348,500.

“The excitement of the Student Recreation Center with future students will allow Truett-McConnell to equip more students to fulfill the Great Commission by fostering a Christian worldview through a biblically centered education,” Jarnagin said.


Jenny Gregory is the Content Manager at TMC.

Return to News Archive