Manchester University
Oak Leaves

September 23, 2016 

Plans for Chinworth Center Flourish

Jensen Lassiter

After two years of comprehensive campaigning, Manchester University has a plan to replace the Administration Building with a brand new building. 

While the original plan was to tear down the current Administration Building, the plans were eventually revised to place the new building, the Lockie and Augusta Chinworth Center, elsewhere. “We were going to tear it down and build a smaller building in its place,” said Presi-dent Dave McFadden. “We received a major gift from Herb Chinworth for 5.1 million dollars. When we did the planning for the building that was going to go in (the Administration Building) spot, we had realized it was better located north of the Jo Young Switzer Center.” 

The original plan had been for a two-story building that would house the administrative offices, student services and admissions offices. Over time, the plan evolved to include a third story to house the College of Business. “When we added the third story, it increased the cost of the building,” McFadden said. “We've been fundraising in addition to what was previously raised.”

Manchester University is still in the fundraising stage. The project has raised around 6.5 million dollars, including the donation from Chinworth. With the addition of the third floor, the ap-proximate cost of the building is 11 million dollars. With 4.5 million dollars left to raise, questions on the probable timeline have also arisen. “We don't have a fixed date,” McFadden said. “This is fall 2016; I don't think we will break ground any earlier than 2018. That would probably be the earliest.

“One of the problems with a project like this,” he continued, “is if it takes too long to come to fruition, it kind of languishes out there. We need to continue to press. Raise the money and get the shovel in the ground!”

With a gift like Chinworth's, which is the single largest individual donation to the university, alumni’s love for Manchester seems to flourish. “One of the best parts of my job is talking to people who love Manchester—sometimes with people who have a tremendous capacity to sup-port Manchester,” McFadden said. “It’s being able to connect them to something that they love, while having something like the Chinworth Center. Herb Chinworth wanted to make sure that he could honor his parents when he made the donation. The Chinworth Center will carry their names, Lockie and Augusta. He has resources, a love of Manchester, of his parents; and this project connects those three things.”

The new Lockie and Augusta Chinworth Center will serve many purposes in addition to housing the new Administration Center and College of Business. “I think it will really serve our students well in terms of the space that they'll have,” McFadden said. “If a student has a need, there's a single location for them to go; they don't have to go from building to building to get eve-rything done. It will be a tremendous academic resource. We have a great Science Center and Academic Center, and this is another new space. This will be another step forward with academ-ic spaces for students.”