PITTSBURG — Pittsburg State University officials announced today (Apr. 24) that Alan and Roberta Whetzel have provided a $1.2 million leadership gift for the renovation of John Lance Arena.
The Whetzels' donation help paves the way for the renovation of the Weede Athletic Complex and the creation of an Indoor Event Center.
Alan earned a pair of varsity basketball letters in 1958-59, playing for and later coaching with legendary PSU coach John Lance. Roberta was a PSU cheerleader and an ardent supporter of athletics.
Alan and Roberta both majored in physical education, graduating with Bsed degrees from Pittsburg State University – Roberta in 1959 and Alan in 1960.
After spending many years teaching and coaching, the Whetzels went on to form Business Systems, Inc., an electronic business supply company based in Wichita.
"When we first began speaking with Alan and Roberta about this project, they were clear about the fact that they wanted to give students the same opportunities they had during their time at Pittsburg State," PSU athletic director Jim Johnson said. "Because they both have coaching experience, they understand the importance that athletics can have in a student's life.
"By providing the leadership gift for this project, Alan and Roberta are helping us improve the collegiate experience for every student on our campus."
The leadership gift allows Pittsburg State University to begin the first phase of its plan to construct a new Weede Athletic Complex and Indoor Event Facility. Construction on the first phase of the project began last month with the removal of the John Lance Arena hardwood, which served the facility since 1996.
Following PSU Commencement on May 12, work will begin to remove current seating and then install a new maple floor that will include three basketball playing courts and as many as seven volleyball courts – 31,000 square feet of hardwood in all. New seating on the lower level will be installed to compliment existing mezzanine seating.
This work all will be completed for the start of the 2012-13 academic year and the 2012 volleyball season.