Pete and Nelda Laney speak at the dedication of the new activities center.
By: Sean Ditmore
A decade’s worth of work culminated on Sunday afternoon with the ribbon cutting ceremony for Wayland’s brand new Pete and Nelda Laney Student Activities Center.
The ceremony, held in the center’s lobby, was attended by many of the donors who helped to pay for the project and also by much of the school’s administration.
Mr. Laney, who is a former speaker of the Texas’ House of Representatives, and his wife both spoke to the crowd of on-lookers about how flattered they were that the new facility bears their names.
“It’s almost embarrassing it’s so flattering and we are absolutely thrilled,” Mrs. Laney said. “It’s lovely.”
More than 120 donors contributed towards the project, and Mr. Laney made sure they weren’t forgotten.
“I want to thank very much the individuals who made this possible,” he said.
Among the donors were Dr. Tariq Saleem, a local psychiatrist, and his wife Naheed.
“It is a good thing to do,” Dr. Saleem said.
“It promotes health and fitness and we are all in favor of that,” his wife added.
Mr. Saleem, his wife, and the rest of the donors were given an opportunity to tour the facility after the address by the Laney’s, as well as short speeches by Student Body President Amy Dillon and School President Dr. Paul Armes and the cutting of the ribbon.
Dillon reflected the view of many students.
“I think it has things that are useful to me, weights, a running machine,” she said. “It turned out really well, students will use it and it will be a positive for students looking to come to Wayland.
The Laney Center features the spacious Wayne Evans Gymnasium, and the James and Eva Mayer Student Lounge which contains a reception area as well as pool and ping-pong tables.
Upstairs is a running track which is elevated over the gym, as well as a work-out area that includes weights, and several classrooms.
“We feel like it will be a first-rate facility for our students. The vision for this building really began ten years ago when Dr. Bill Hardage pulled a few of us together and said this is what our vision should be for a building for our students,” athletic director and building administrator Dr. Greg Feris said.
“We recognized at that time that the Hutcherson Center, though a marvelous athletic venue, really didn’t have what we’d like for our students in the way of recreational activities and intramurals.”