Kardatzke Wellness Center
Growing Room for Anderson University Athletics
Gymnasium space has historically been a challenge for Anderson University, from the remodeling of Byrum Hall to construction of O. C. Lewis Gymnasium. As the university – and majors like sports medicine and exercise science – grew, it became clear that more space was needed.
Kardatzke Wellness Center opened in 2002, uniting the Bennett Natatorium and O. C. Lewis Gymnasium. In addition to recreational gym space, the building is also used for classes and team practices and games. The Tom and Sch’ree Ward Fieldhouse houses indoor basketball and tennis courts, a 200-meter regulation running track, and a 355-meter walking track in 68,000 square feet of space.
At the time of its dedication on October 12th, 2001, the Kardatzke Wellness Center was the largest building project in Anderson University history. There were twenty intramural programs and sixteen sports offered, all of which utilized the new space. An article in the Herald Bulletin estimated that eighty percent of students would enter the building every day for classes, practices, or recreation.
As an academic building, Kardatzke Wellness Center is home to the Department of Kinesiology. The sports medicine program, which began in the 1970s and was originally based in the O. C. Lewis Gymnasium, had been moved in 1982 to the former bookstore space. It currently resides in the Bill and Gloria Gaither Sports Medicine Center, a space designed specifically for sports medicine research. Kardatzke Wellness Center also houses the J. Willard and Virginia E. Reardon Wellness Education Center, the R. Glenn and Berny Falls Fitness Center, and the Lester C. and Marguerite Hardacre Human Performance Center.
Kardatzke Wellness Center is named for Dr. Stanley Kardatzke and the Kardatzke family. Dr. Kardatzke is the son of Elmer Kardatzke, a pastor who established Central Community Church in Wichita, Kansas. The Kardatzke family has long been involved in the Anderson University community, including Carl Kardatzke, who was the Chair of the Department of Education from 1933-1959.
- "Fair Commons" Folder, A.C./A.U. Buildings Documents, Anderson University and Church of God Archives
- "Kardatzke Wellness Center" Folder, A.C./A.U. Buildings Documents, Anderson University and Church of God Archives