The multidecade Springfield businessman, community activist and entrepreneur Bill R. Foster and his family have made a significant monetary contribution to the Missouri State University Foundation. As a result, the school's recreation center under construction will be named the Bill R. Foster and Family Recreation Center when it opens in March.
Financial terms of the donation were undisclosed. The $30 million, 100,000-square-foot center is located near JQH Arena. The project has been funded by university-issued bonds, private gifts and a dedicated student fee. It is being designed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards, according to a news release.
Foster served on the board of trustees of the MSU Foundation 1987-93, with a stint as president 1990-91. His son, Tony Foster, currently serves on the foundation's board, and another son, John Foster, served as co-chairman of the Bears Fund, which supports MSU athletics.
During his career, Bill Foster has built and operated more than 20 long-term care companies, including Foster Hospitality Group.
“We are very excited about helping to provide this great facility to faculty, students and staff,” Foster said in the release. “We appreciate the opportunity to be part of a beautiful facility that will serve Missouri State University, especially the present and future students.”
The center, which will include a 7,000-square-foot swimming pool, a jogging track, fitness center, basketball courts, rock-climbing walls and a lounge area, is under construction by DeWitt & Associates Inc. The facility was designed by MSU architect Doug Sampson, and the engineers are St. Louis-based Civil Design Inc., civil; and Grand Island, New York-based Cannon Design, mechanical, electrical and plumbing, according to Springfield Business Journal archives
“We very much appreciate this generous support from the Foster family, and we are pleased and honored to have the Foster name forever associated with Missouri State through the naming of this building," MSU Interim President Clif Smart added in the release.[[In-content Ad]]