UCM Celebrates Opening of Audrey J. Walton Clubhouse at Pertle Springs
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Dec. 1, 2011) – Pertle Springs was once a popular destination site that brought people from across the country to the Warrensburg area. With the opening of the Audrey J. Walton Clubhouse at Keth Memorial Golf Course, University of Central Missouri leaders expect to stir new interest in the recreation area through its newest addition.
“This is a great facility,” said Jerry Hughes, director of Intercollegiate Athletics, remarked in talking about the new clubhouse. ”As I said during the groundbreaking, it will benefit students and it will benefit the community. It will be a place of destination.”
University of Central Missouri President Charles Ambrose, left, and Jerry Hughes, director of Intercollegiate Athletics, publicly thank Audrey J. Walton, Versailles with the presentation of a framed photo of the new clubhouse that she made possible through her generosity. The clubhouse, named for Walton, was officially dedicated at Pertle Springs Keth Memorial Golf Course Nov. 29.
Hughes was one of the speakers during the public ceremony Nov. 29 to officially open and dedicate the clubhouse. The event included tours of the 5,000-square-foot facility and the unveiling of the clubhouse’s new name, which included participation from university friend and supporter Audrey J. Walton, Versailles. Her $1.5 million gift made the facility possible.
State Representative Denny Hoskins, 121st District, and Senator David Pearce, 31st District, presented Missouri House and Senate resolutions commemorating the historic event. University President Charles Ambrose and Hughes were joined by Walton and members of the UCM Golf Team to unveil the facility’s name on the north side of the clubhouse. After being presented a framed photograph of the clubhouse, Walton was joined by her family and members of the university, including the Board of Governors, Foundation Board, and Alumni Board, for a ribbon cutting.
In his remarks to the gathering, President Ambrose emphasized the role the facility will play in welcoming people to campus and to the community, also making reference to Hughes’ earlier remarks. He said Pertle Springs has been a destination since 1866.
“If you think about destination, think about place, people and purpose,” Ambrose noted. “Today is a game changer for this place, because it gives us a place to gather and congregate in fellowship and that’s wonderful. It’s also about people and our ability to show our appreciation for Audrey and her investment in this place. And, most importantly, it’s about purpose. And that is bringing together knowledge with students who have an individualized sense of purpose, and taking that knowledge and purpose and putting it in their hands as they move out into the world ahead.”
Other speakers included Sheldon Smith, a UCM senior and member of the golf team from Clinton, and Walt Hicklin, president of the Board of Governors, Gravois Mills. Shawn Jones, senior associate athletics director, served as master of ceremonies.
After thanking individuals who helped make the clubhouse possible, Hicklin said “It seems like only yesterday we were standing here with gold-painted shovels and breaking ground for this facility. We don’t have to guess any more about what this facility will look like. It is a beautiful one and one we can all be proud of.”
Smith noted, “I was around when the original clubhouse was here. It really is something special for a freshman coming into a program like ours and seeing the commitment that has been put forth…things like this don’t happen without the support of the faculty and the administration that we have at the University of Central Missouri.”
The total cost of the new clubhouse was approximately $1.7 million Its features include men’s and women’s locker rooms with showers, a banquet room that can seat up to 150 people, professional kitchen facilities, pro shop, staff offices, and a patio that overlooks the 18th green and seats about 60 individuals. Reasbeck Construction, Inc. began work on the facility in April 2011.
Hughes said the facility will serve as a community resource, used for wedding receptions, class reunions, and special events, in addition to hosting golf tournaments and many other types of activities.