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October 27, 2006
UD Receives $22 Million Gift for Recreation and Wellness Center


Today, President Jeffrey F. Bullock announced a $22 million gift to the University from Joseph (C'68) and Linda Chlapaty. The gift will underwrite the construction of the Chlapaty Recreation and Wellness Center as well as support renovations to Stoltz Sports Center.

In accepting this gift on behalf of the University, President Bullock stated "We are humbled by the continuous support and dedication as well as sheer love and devotion for this place that define Joe and Linda. Their gift will have such a positive impact everyone in the University community. From the beginning of the University's transformation in 1999, the Chlapatys have been part of a leadership group that has made extraordinary financial gifts - without which UD's progress would have been impeded, if not halted. As I have often said, we continue to be richly blessed. Joe and Linda Chlapaty are helping us to move forward toward another mile marker on our transformation journey, Forever Better."

The Chlapaty Recreation and Wellness Center, an 87,000 square foot facility, will envelop the existing football stadium as well as additional construction looking west. The new construction will be handicap accessible and include:
  • a 6900 square foot, 2-level fitness center including areas for cardiovascular workout and free weights/machines;
  • a 200 meter, 6-lane indoor track with synthetic flooring for fitness walking and performance;
  • 4 multi-use courts nested in the center of the track for intramurals and indoor practices;
  • a 16 foot-wide concourse running the length of the facility, overlooking the track and courts;
  • a training room including hydrotherapy tubs and examination rooms;
  • home, visitor, officials and faculty/staff locker rooms;
  • a juice bar/lounge area;
  • a football stadium including east side visitor seating and an expanded concessions area;
  • a reconfigured press area;
  • a lighted field;
  • a synthetic field turf surface, new outdoor track, and
  • relocated tennis courts.

"We are happy to give back to an institution that gave me my chance in life, and for that I have gratitude that words don't adequately convey. This gift is one way for Linda and me to return thanks to a place that means so much to us," stated Joe Chlapaty. "Since the beginning of the University's transformation in 1999, UD has made so much progress. This building is just another symbol of the University's continued dedication to building a campus environment that supports the education of students as whole persons. With three more projects - a Worship/Performing Arts Center, a Student Center, and additional residential facilities - in the early planning stages, the Recreation and Wellness Center is another step in becoming the University our plan calls us to be."

Linda Chlapaty commented, "Our hope is that the Center will be another gathering spot for students, faculty, staff, and neighbors and friends alike. Making wellness opportunities convenient and accessible is the key to a healthy lifestyle. The facility will be designed to keep not only our bodies, but our minds and spirits in prime condition."

The project is a collaborative effort of Straka Johnson Architects P.C. (Dubuque, IA) and Hastings and Chivetta (St. Louis, MO).