By AZBEX Staff for Arizona Builder’s Exchange
Ottawa University announced this week that two alumni – Jim and Jeanne O’Dell – have donated $6M to fund the O’Dell Center for Athletics at the school’s Ottawa University Arizona residential campus in Surprise, according to an announcement from OUAZ.
It is the largest single donation in Ottawa University’s history, and the second record donation by the family, which in 2000 gave the university its first $1M donation.
The Surprise campus opened this fall with 434 students, the announcement stated, nearly double the enrollment the university expected when it first announced the new campus in February. OUAZ is targeting 3,000 residential students for the campus within 10 years, according to earlier reports.
The O’Dell Center for Athletics is part of the university’s two-phase expansion plan for the campus. Phase 1 started in February and was completed in October. Cawley Architects confirmed to AZBEX staff on Nov. 28 future packages will be finalized and scheduled this month.
A multi-sport athletic field, adjacent to the center’s planned site, was part of the Phase 1 development. The athletic center will include locker rooms, training spaces, office areas for coaching staff, and support services for students, as well as a new press box and entertainment area. According to the university’s announcement, groundbreaking is expected in February.
“I have been involved in the search for an Arizona campus from the beginning,” said Jim O’Dell. “I know how hard President (Kevin) Eichner and the entire OU staff have labored to make it work. I have met all or most of the coaches and really want to make the whole experience the best it can be. OUAZ in Surprise is the beginning of a great place for students to learn.”
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