Ripon College Awarded Low Interest Loan from USDA Rural Development for Athletics, Health and Wellness Facilities

Ripon College announced today that it is the recipient of a $14,300,000, fixed-rate low interest loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development division to help finance the cost of renovating and expanding the J.M. Storzer Athletics, Health and Wellness Center.

The funds, provided through the Community Facilities Direct Loan program, are designed to develop essential community facilities and foster economic growth and development in rural communities across the country. U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, U.S. Congressman Glenn Grothman (WI-6), Ripon Mayor Gary Will and area schools and businesses such as Agnesian Healthcare wrote letters of support during the USDA application process for the upgraded health and wellness facilities and Ripon College’s efforts to continue its role as an economic driver to the region.

“This collaborative project seeks to promote public access to community wellness facilities and spur investment in Ripon and the surrounding rural communities,” said Stan Gruszynski, USDA Rural Development Wisconsin State Director. “The J.M. Storzer Center renovation and expansion represents a true College-community partnership, and we are proud to be part of it.”

“Securing public financing from USDA is a critical step in our efforts to move ahead with this important project for our campus and the surrounding community,” said Zach Messitte, president of Ripon College. “We are now in the process of working with alumni and friends of the College on leadership gifts that will help us reach our goal of opening the new facility by the fall of 2017.”

The J.M. Storzer Center project, estimated at between $18-$22 million, will be financed using a mix of public and private loans and philanthropy.

Once completed, the upgraded facilities will provide state-of-the-art training spaces, including but not limited to: an indoor fieldhouse with an NCAA regulation track and performance courts, integrated cardio and weight training space, flexible studio spaces, modern classrooms and meeting/event spaces, study and meditative areas, a health food cafe and the first true student center on lower campus.


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