On Thursday afternoon, a group of NIC students, staff, faculty and trustees gathered to celebrate a dream finally realized with the grand opening “rope-cutting” of the new state-of-the-art student recreation and wellness center.
“We’ve only been waiting for this for about fifteen years,” said Vice President for student services Graydon Stanley, who hosted the event. His brief remarks addressed the long journey from an emotional trustee meeting where the project was approved over a decade ago. He was followed by Quanah Matheson with the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, who led the group in a prayer over the native lands on which the new center will reside.
A true team effort from the beginning, staffed by students and administered by members of NIC staff. More than 800 students have already checked into the facility more than 3500 times in the two weeks since it opened doors, according to Jessica Bennett, Director of Student Wellness and Recreation. LPN student Caralina Fischer said, “I signed up in the first week. I love their drop-in classes.”
During the dedication, which was moved indoors due to air quality, attendees heard from NIC President Dr. Rick MacLennan, among others. MacLennan, one of the first staff members in line to purchase a membership, said, “We’re so thrilled about this facility. It will change the lives of students, and greatly impact the community.”
The completion of the center was a true team effort with a personal significance to many. Gabe Bujko of Ginno Construction is also an NIC graduate, and helped supervise the project. “To get my degree in construction management from NIC and then to work on this building was a real privilege for me, kind of like a divine appointment,” said Bujko. “I’m happy to have executed the project on schedule and on budget after the winter we had.”
Full-time NIC students (12 credits) will be offered admission at no charge, and students enrolled in under 12 credits will pay $7.25 per credit until you reach 12. Adjusted pricing for summer students, staff, spouses and alumni will be offered as well.