Bethany Lutheran College (BLC) and Mayo Clinic Health System (MCHS) in Mankato are announcing a partnership that will see MCHS providing support for the new Bethany Activity and Wellness Center. The 84,000 square foot facility is currently under construction at the corner of Marsh and Division Streets on the BLC campus in Mankato. The building is located just one block west of the MCHS in Mankato campus.
Despite being neighbors for decades on the Mankato Hilltop, Bethany and Mayo only recently launched a number of key partnerships; the first was in 2018 with Mayo offering routine health care services for the Bethany community through an on-campus office. In 2019, MCHS began a relationship with Bethany to provide training services for the College’s athletic program. Recently, Bethany provided housing for Mayo physicians and health personnel during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. This latest partnership continues the trend of cooperation, and demonstrates the MCHS commitment to student wellness on the Bethany campus.
The new building will consist of two facilities under one roof—a 68,000 square foot activity center with a 200 meter track and turf infield, and a 16,000 square foot wellness center with exercise and fitness rooms, locker facilities, and gathering spaces. The partnership with MCHS supports the smaller portion of the project, and as such, Bethany will recognize MCHS in and around the new Wellness Center with visible signage representing the partnership.
President Gene Pfeifer said, “Bethany Lutheran College is very thankful for the support from Mayo Clinic Health System for this new campus facility, and for all of our partnerships with Mayo—they are a tremendous benefit to our students on our growing campus. We’re confident that through these ventures our students are being served well.”
This new Bethany/Mayo partnership is more than a simple naming rights agreement. While Bethany students, teams, and personnel will be the primary tenant of the building, MCHS employees will also be able to use space in the building for certain employee wellness ventures. In addition to the space usage, several Bethany academic programs will also benefit from this partnership. Under the agreement Mayo employees will be invited to the Bethany campus for various education and guest lecture opportunities.
“Serving as Bethany’s premier health care provider for the past several years has been rewarding, and we’re thrilled to be expanding our relationship through support for the new Activity and Wellness Center,” says James Hebl, M.D., regional vice president of Mayo Clinic Health System in Southwest Minnesota. “As a health care institution focused on clinical practice, research and education, we look forward to additional opportunities to collaborate with Bethany to better serve employees, students and the community.”
The multi-purpose facility is also envisioned as a regional asset and positive addition to the Greater Mankato community. The large activity center will be available for rental use by groups and youth sport organizations.