Future wellness center named after alumni donor
Funding for a new performing arts center will be redirected to construct a $86 million recreation and wellness center, which was recently named after the donor who contributed the largest individual primary gift to the University.
Associated Students Inc. confirmed Oct.1 that the school’s future Recreation and Wellness Center would be named after SF State alumnus Manny Mashouf, who donated $10 million to the University and founded Bebe, a retail company.
Construction crews will break ground June 2015 and open in 2018, according to campus planner Wendy Bloom. Located at Font and Lake Merced boulevards, the two-story facility is set to measure at 118,670 gross square feet and be equipped with fitness rooms, weight training spaces, a spa, pool and an outdoor field.
“We wanted to find an appropriate way to honor him for the gift that he and his family made back in 2005,” said Robert Nava, vice president of university advancement. “Here’s an individual whose life is committed to personal excellence, values, health and wellness. So we thought a wellness center would be an ideal place to ask Mr. Mashouf to allow us to place his name on.”
The donation is the largest individual gift the school has ever received, according to Nava, and will cover part of the funding for the center. The total project cost, including design, construction and equipment is estimated at $86,487,000, according to Bloom.
Mashouf originally donated the money in 2005 to fund a new performing arts center but additional funding for the project from the state failed to materialize, according to Nava. Mashouf agreed in 2012 to have his donation redirected to fund the wellness student center.
“We are grateful to Mr. Mashouf for his willingness to redirect his gift to support the Wellness Center and for our student leaders’ enthusiastic endorsement,” SF State President Leslie E. Wong said in an email.
Half of Mashouf’s initial donation was used to prepare the infrastructure for what would have been the performing arts center, according to Nava, but since the University plans to build the wellness center where the performing arts building would have been, the school will not have to pay additional fees for new equipment or start from scratch.
“It is appropriate that it be named after an alumnus who has so much in common with many of our students,” said SF State spokesperson Ellen Griffin, who added that the wellness center will be funded primarily by student fees.
To fund the project, the University established a Recreation and Wellness Center Fee in 2010, which increased from $35 to $90 in 2012 for all students, according to the Office of Fiscal Affairs website.
“This new state of the art facility will become a new gateway to our campus while adding great value to our students’ campus experience,” Wong said.