Texas Wesleyan University is unveiling plans for its $20.25 million Nick and Lou Martin University Center, which will be located in the heart of campus.
The 44,000-square-foot Martin Center is the most significant capital project at Texas Wesleyan in more than a century. For the first time, Texas Wesleyan will have a centrally-located hub for student life and engagement in the heart of campus, and provide meeting space for east Fort Worth community leaders and friends.
The University is more than half way through its fundraising goal and the project is expected to break ground in 2018.
“The Martin Center takes the energy and activity across our campus and community and centers it in one strategic location,” President Frederick G. Slabach said. “It is more than a new building – it will be the living, beating heart of our invigorated student life. A central place where students, faculty, staff, visitors and our community will come together to socialize, study and connect.”
Located between the Eunice and James L. West Library and Canafax Clock Tower, the Martin Center will be approximately 44,000-square-feet and two stories tall. It will include a new student and family welcome center, food court, ballroom that can accommodate 300, bookstore and convenience store, spaces for student organizations and student life offices, lounge areas, meeting rooms and additional office space.
The center is named in honor of Nick and Lou Martin of Fort Worth, longtime supporters of Texas Wesleyan.
“We were honored to provide the leadership gift to get the fundraising campaign started for this important new facility at Texas Wesleyan,” Lou Martin said. “We were motivated to make this gift to encourage others close to Texas Wesleyan, and those who believe in its mission, to provide support to make this important center a reality.”
The center is the next bold step in Texas Wesleyan’s 2020 Vision strategic plan. Over the last five years, the University has nearly doubled its endowment, grown enrollment and invested more than $23 million in campus enhancements and improvements.
This fall, the University celebrated its most successful move-in day in history with more than 500 students now living in its residence halls. The revival of the football program, which will begin conference games in the fall of 2017, has added to the invigorated campus community and thriving student life.
Lou Martin is currently a member of the Texas Wesleyan Board of Trustees. Her family has been involved with Texas Wesleyan since it was founded in 1890. James B. Baker, Lou’s grandfather, served on the Board of Trustees from 1895 to 1912 and was instrumental to the development and advancement of Texas Wesleyan. Lou’s father, Edward L. Baker, served on the Board of Trustees from 1945 to 1969, one of the most transformational periods in the university’s history. During his tenure, Texas Wesleyan earned accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
The Martin Center builds on the success of the Rosedale Renaissance project by focusing the University life toward Rosedale Street, a key touchstone in Fort Worth’s continued economic viability and development. The Center will be the most significant meeting place to the East Side of Fort Worth, and will become the hub of revitalization.