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Syracuse to use $3.5M donation to renovate Archbold Gymnasium to include health, wellness, and recreation complex

By Eric Reinhardt


An artist’s rendering of the exterior of “The Arch,” or the school’s Archbold Gymnasium, which will undergo renovation work to include the Barnes Center at The Arch, a new health, wellness, and recreation complex. Syracuse alumnus Kwang Tan donated $3.5 million to help pay for the renovation work, the school said. (Syracuse University news website)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse University will use a donation of $3.5 million for “significant” renovations to Archbold Gymnasium.

The improvements will include the creation of the Barnes Center at The Arch, a new health, wellness, and recreation complex, Syracuse said in a news release posted Friday on the school’s news website.

Kwang Tan, who earned a doctoral degree in electrical engineering from the College of Engineering and Computer Science in 1973, provided the donation.

The announcement of Tan’s donation follows a “generous” gift from Steven Barnes, a 1982 graduate of Syracuse University and the current chairman of the board of trustees, along with his wife, Deborah.

The university will use their donation to create the Barnes Center at The Arch, which will house all of the campus health and wellness services, including the Counseling Center, the Office of Health Promotion, Health Services, Recreation Services and the Office of Student Assistance — in one central location.

The facility will include a “modern,” multi-floor fitness center, a rock climbing wall, and a multi-activity sports court.

The center will also have fully accessible locker rooms and restrooms.


About the project

Syracuse University describes The Arch as a “significant project of the Campus Framework, [which] seeks to enhance the student experience — inside and outside the classroom — as outlined in the vision of the Academic Strategic Plan.”

Tan said he was drawn to the project for its potential to “positively impact the student experience in a holistic way,” providing a place where students can enjoy social and recreational activities that improve physical and emotional health, “part of a balanced campus experience.”

“The campus is being re-energized by the concepts of the Academic Strategic Plan and the Campus Framework. This new center brings into focus a vision for an environment that complements both living and learning,” Tan said in the release. “Students need to be engaged in both academics and their well-being. Health and recreational opportunities are essential to their experience. The Arch will provide them with the spaces, equipment and services that will support them holistically throughout their time at Syracuse University.”

In honor of Tan’s donation to The Arch and his support of the “student experience,” Syracuse will dedicate the second floor in his name.

In 2013, Tan funded a scholarship for two students, with a preference for first- or second-generation Chinese students. The Tan Family Education Foundation Scholarship is funded by his family foundation, Syracuse said.

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