February 6, 2015 – It was time to “pump up” the fitness area. More than $70,000 was raised to expand and upgrade the weight room inside Wheeling Jesuit University’s McDonough Center – improvements that will benefit the entire campus community.
Through fund raising efforts last spring and summer, the athletic department was able to generate about $73,000 for the updates.
Chuck and Dee Dee Bills, father of Brittney Bills, a 2014 MBA graduate and former volleyball graduate assistant, made a gift of $50,000 towards the project. Through a campaign last spring, coaches and athletes raised the remaining funds, which brought in another $23,000.
The first phase of the project involved removing two walls, adding an extra 720-square-feet. With the additional space, WJU Athletic Director Frank Bauer said all of the weight equipment can now be housed in a larger room. “Having all of the weight equipment in one area allows student workers and coaches to better supervise those people while they are working out.”
Once the renovations to the room were completed, about $50,000 in free weight equipment was purchased and installed. “Part of what determines an athlete’s success is the work they put in during the off-season. This expanded facility will give our athletes the competitive edge in the weight room, allowing them to train with top-notch equipment and giving our teams space to work together,” said Bauer.
For the general student population, Bauer said, the fitness room facility takes on a different feel. “Our student population now has the total package in which to stay fit and keep in shape.”
“We couldn’t have done this without the generous gift from the Bills family and all the fund raising efforts of our athletes and coaches,” he added.
Founded in 1954, Wheeling Jesuit University is the youngest Jesuit institution of higher learning in the nation and the only Catholic university in the state of West Virginia.