CENTERS at Jackson State University

The 91,883-square-foot, $13.5 million Walter Payton Recreation and Wellness Center opened in January 2006.  In May 2014, Jackson State University engaged CENTERS, in collaboration with sister company Brailsford & Dunlavey, to provide an updated market analysis, updated business plan, and a capital improvement plan for the Walter Payton Center. The project kicked off in May 2014, and the team’s scope of work included a visioning session with JSU administrators, off-campus market analysis, Internet-based survey, cost/benefit analysis of capital improvement needs, and business plan update.

In October 2014, JSU and CENTERS entered into an agreement for CENTERS to manage the Walter Payton Center and staff. A key component of the Business Plan includes financial targets based on projected expenses to operate at a high standard and speculative revenue generated from student allocations, memberships, and services. Meeting or exceeding these designated targets is imperative since it relates to CENTERS’ obligation to fulfill its contract with JSU and achieve the goals outlined during the planning process.

Jackson State University envisions a dependable student workforce. A key and unique identifier that distinguishes CENTERS is its incorporation of a student development model that achieves the following desired outcomes expressed by JSU:

Incorporates experiential teaching philosophies to contribute to the University’s holistic student engagement and learning goals; Creates tiered employment that allows students to take on progressively responsible positions as peer mentors; Utilizes ethical and rigorous hiring practices that improve students’ preparedness via a selection process; Provides appropriate training that accommodates various learning styles; Entrusts students with responsibility and authority to manage daily operations and first responder situations; Creates a culture of high expectations that reinforces important life skill behaviors and motivates high performance, and; Assesses student learning goals to review and revise job responsibilities and expectations.
The Walter Payton Center will offer several promotions and special events annually in order to increase participation and involvement in campus recreation. Incoming participants will be introduced to new programs and services. Loyal memberships will be appreciated by recreation staff, and all patrons will be offered an improved state-of-the-art facility. A variety of diverse events will be implemented within the community in order to create a better customer value.

CENTERS’ management efforts will focus on the following outcomes for the Walter Payton Center:

Increase student recruitment and retention Improve the JSU community’s quality of life Respond to student demand for improved recreation programs Strengthen relationships with the local JSU alumni base and broader Jackson community Provide high-quality learning experiences for students through professional development Provide out-of-classroom healthy lifestyle education for the campus community Operate efficiently and effectively through providing knowledgeable staff, instructors, and attendants