Mayer gift to benefit student activity center

PLAINVIEW - A matching gift from the James and Eva Mayer Foundation will help in the construction of the Pete and Nelda Laney Student Activity Center planned for the Wayland Baptist University campus in Plainview.

The $300,000 gift is a matching grant requiring the university to secure three similar grants from other foundations toward the construction cost. In appreciation for the gift, the university will name the student lounge in the new facility The James and Eva Mayer Student Lounge.

Under the direction of trustees David Wilder, Gene Owen and Paul Lyle, the Mayer Foundation has been a great supporter of the university over many years, donating to the Mabee Learning Resources Center and providing funding for the circular drive outside Harral Auditorium, which was dedicated in 2001.

The foundation was established by the will of Eva Mayer and became effective in September 1987. Grants are provided primarily for religious, charitable, educational or scientific purposes.

The Laney Center will provide what university officials have called a much-needed fitness and wellness facility for students, and it will be the center for intramural sports, exercising and socializing. There is currently no such facility on the campus and Hutcherson Physical Education Center is used primarily for Wayland's athletic programs.

The 51,010 square-foot facility will be constructed in two phases. Phase 1 will cost approximately $5.1 million dollars and will include a double gymnasium, indoor track, weight training and aerobics area, classrooms, dressing rooms and a student lounge. The facility will be completed in Phase 2 with the construction of an Olympic-size natatorium.

The building is being named in honor of State Representative James E. "Pete" Laney and wife Nelda to recognize their leadership and support for higher education in Texas.

For information on donating to the Laney Center project, contact Martha Cross at 291-3427.