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Bethel College board approves athletic complex, reorganizes board

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN.- The Bethel College board of directors approved development and construction of an athletic complex on the north end of campus during meetings held on campus Oct. 11 and 12. Plans for the complex include development of a football stadium around the current Schmidt Track. Other features of the plan include a lighted soccer field; development of practice fields for soccer and football; development of areas for javelin, shot put and other track and field events; and parking for more than 500 cars.

Before the spring board meeting, Bethel administrators will work to develop final architectural plans, secure funding and set a timetable for implementing the plans.

In other action, the board approved changes to the board’s by-laws to reflect the current affiliation with Mennonite Church USA and to reorganize the board over a period of several years. Under the approved plan, the board is reduced from 39 to 27 members and will include four new representatives appointed by the Mennonite Education Agency of Mennonite Church USA.

The board heard from students representing Student Senate, discussed renovation of the Science Hall, met with new admissions staff and heard a report from LaVonne Mullet, consultant for admissions and recruitment.

The board honored those who have completed terms of service on the board. They include Keith Harder of Hillsboro, who served six years, and Rex Esau of Hesston, Edward Neufeld of Olathe and Richard Siemens of Lyons, who had each served 12 years.

The board served ice cream to the staff and a corn roast dinner to students, and on Oct. 12 members hosted a reception for President E. LaVerne Epp.

"This is an exciting time for Bethel, and our fall board meeting reflected that excitement," said board chair Dee Gaeddert. The board demonstrated a lot of enthusiasm for the new capital projects and for the new structure of the board. The board also had an opportunity to connect with students, faculty and staff in new ways and to commit ourselves to board development."

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