CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Southern Illinois University Carbondale will unveil the renovated Campus Lake boathouse on Saturday, April 28.
According to the university, alumnus Ralph Becker contributed $1 million to renovate the boathouse, a focal point of Campus Lake for more than six decades.
Construction workers put the finishing touches on the project in time for the 45th annual Cardboard Boat Regatta, which is returning in 2018. The building is at the starting point for the race.
The SIU Foundation will host a dedication celebration of the boathouse, located at 1493 Douglas Drive on campus, at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 28. The boat regatta will be held later that day at 1 p.m.
According to the university, Becker was one of the pioneers of the university's radio-television program and is a 1955 SIU graduate.
"I want to challenge everyone to give back to others, and to what is important to them," he said. "It is extremely important to challenge others to do bigger and better than what I am able to accomplish. That is the only way progress will be made."
Generations of SIU students, staff and community members have enjoyed the boathouse. A popular event was moonlight canoeing. Each month, when the moon was full, students and community members enjoyed a free canoe or paddleboat ride across the lake.
The boathouse has also been home to weddings, receptions and countless celebrations.
According to the university, the renovated facility will include event space for a variety of purposes, including classroom and social activities.