Letter from the President

November 25, 2008

Dear Friend of Idaho State University:

Our University continues to renew itself, expanding its scope, mission, endeavors and excellence. That remarkable evolution is again manifesting itself physically.

It was with great pride in the students of Idaho State University that I participated in the Nov. 20 groundbreaking ceremony for the new $7 million, 32,000-foot expansion of the Student Recreation Center, which adjoins Reed Gymnasium.

Reed Gymnasium has a rich history. Named after Miles F. Reed, ISU's second president, the facility was predated by Reed Hall, a gymnasium built on the Hutchinson Quadrangle in 1919. That structure, damaged in the earthquake of 1934, was eventually razed and replaced by Reed Gymnasium, built on its existing site in 1951.

Like the rest of the University, Reed Gymnasium has not remained unchanged since the mid-1900s. It has continued to expand its scope and redefine itself to meet current and future needs.

In 1979, the Student Activities Center, which included indoor tennis courts, racquetball courts and an indoor track, was added to the facility. These facilities were improved again with the addition of the Student Activities Center's new gymnasium area, exercise studio and climbing wall that opened in 1998.

Now, like the rest of ISU, Reed Gymnasium is in the process of evolving again, offering more to students and the community than it has in its storied and proud past.

The groundbreaking was a significant moment for Idaho State. The ceremony was a fitting event in our history to commemorate the ability and will of our students who had the vision to provide this facility that the entire Idaho State University community – students, faculty, staff and friends – will enjoy in decades to come.

The two-story structure on the east side of Reed Gymnasium will connect it to and expand the existing indoor tennis facility. The new facility will feature a large multi-purpose recreation room, free weight areas, machine weight areas, cardio machines and exercise areas, campus recreation offices, a lobby area, and lounge areas. An enclosed atrium area will feature plenty of windows and also create new uses for existing space in Reed Gymnasium.

Along with ISU's two most recent buildings, the Rendezvous Complex and the L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center, the Student Recreation Center will make the Pocatello campus an even more appealing and enjoyable place to receive a quality education. The new structure is due to be completed in 18 months, opening in the spring 2010 semester.

The addition is being built entirely with Associated Students of Idaho State University funds. ASISU President Matt Spencer was on hand, offering a student's perspective of the accomplishment. He acknowledged the work of former student leaders and their pursuit of this project, expressing what it means to current and future students.

Matt mentioned that his father attended ISU when Holt Arena – also funded entirely by student fees – was built in the early 1970s. Spencer's father often mentioned that his generation of ISU alumni created the legacy of Holt Arena.

"Now, it is our turn," Matt said. "When we (current) students come back to walk through this building, we can say this is something we helped to provide to all students. It is a monument to us and all the things we can accomplish together."

I want to thank students, and all those who cooperated with them, for the vision and commitment they demonstrated in creating this first-class facility.

I wish you and your family well at the start of this holiday season, one in which we can express gratitude for this extraordinary gift from our students.

Go Bengals!

Letter from the President

Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D.
President, Idaho State University
president@isu.edu