Ohio Wesleyan University’s new Simpson Querrey Fitness Center and renovated Edwards Gymnasium now connect through a large, open hallway that provides a seamless passage from one building to the next.
The structural change is easy to overlook when walking through the two facilities, but the connection is profound, say university officials.
“These newly revitalized buildings represent the best elements of an Ohio Wesleyan liberal arts education,” said President Rock Jones. “Thanks to a $10-million renovation, these buildings now connect body and mind – helping students to understand, and teach others, about the vital links between maintaining their physical health and living the most fulfilling personal and professional lives possible. We are grateful to lead donors Lou Simpson and Kimberly Querrey for helping us to make these critical connections and bring these projects to fruition.”
Louis A. Simpson, OWU Class of 1958, and his wife, Kimberly K. Querrey, contributed $8 million to the university in February 2014 to transform the former Pfeiffer Natatorium into the new, state-of-the-art Simpson Querrey Fitness Center. The Florida couple’s gift also enabled Ohio Wesleyan to finish ongoing renovations at historic Edwards Gymnasium, home of the OWU athletics program since 1906.
The university will celebrate the completion of both projects and dedicate the new Simpson Querrey Fitness Center at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 1 with a ribbon-cutting at the center, 105 S. Sandusky St. Simpson and Querrey are among the scheduled speakers, and both buildings will be open afterward from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. for self-guided tours.
Simpson, who majored in economics and accounting at Ohio Wesleyan, was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws by the university in October 2013 in recognition of his significant achievements in the field of economics. Following a 31-year career with GEICO Corp., he and Querrey founded the investment-advisory firm SQ Advisors, LLC, in 2010.
In addition to its 4,350-square-foot fitness center, Ohio Wesleyan’s new Simpson Querrey Fitness Center includes the Jannuzi Dance Studio, a 2,425-square-foot studio that meets all facility standards of the National Association of Schools of Dance; a Department of Health and Human Kinetics studio that helps students learn to teach health- and fitness-related activities; and additional classrooms.
Work to refurbish adjacent Edwards Gymnasium began in 2012 and has included adding the Morrill Family Strength & Conditioning Room, restoring the second-floor basketball court, and refurbishing the building’s signature skylight. The gymnasium opened in 1906 and is one of 11 OWU sites on the National Register of Historic Places.
Information for this story was provided by Ohio Wesleyan University.