The Wichita State University campus will soon be home to a larger-than-life sculpture of its beloved WuShock mascot, thanks to Steve Clark – a longtime Greater Wichita YMCA board member, volunteer and donor – for whom the area’s tenth YMCA branch location will be named.
The sculpture will be located on the entrance plaza of the new YMCA and Student Wellness Center.
While planning design and usage options for the YMCA, Clark – a Shocker alumnus, donor and volunteer – shared his idea for and willingness to fund the first-of-its-kind WuShock sculpture on campus. It will honor of his late-wife, Judy Broshears Clark, who died in a 1989 car accident.
Local artist Wade Hampton worked with WSU Athletics and Clark to capture his vision in sketch form, and sculptor Connie Ernatt is in the process of transforming the drawing to the final bronze sculpture.
The sculpture will embrace a vintage style of the mascot. After working through several miniature clay models, the team took the design to the Reverse Engineering Lab at WSU’s National Institute for Aviation Research, where a 3D scan created an 8-foot computer model of the statue.
WSU’s GoCreate used the model to create a full-sized foam replica that Ernatt is covering in clay to be bronzed.
A date will be announced for the installation and dedication of the sculpture.
“WuShock is important to our family,” Clark said. “It has been exciting to see an idea, through local artists and members of the Shocker community, come to life. I’m anxious for the community to see the statue while making use of the YMCA and student wellness center behind it.”
Under construction at the corner of Mike Oatman and Mid Campus drives on the east side of campus, the Steve Clark YMCA and Student Wellness Center is scheduled to open ahead of WSU’s spring 2020 semester. The building will support the WSU community and surrounding neighborhoods. The 77,000-square-foot facility will offer drop-in daycare, social, community, fitness, meeting and wellness spaces.
A 55,000-square-foot fitness facility will offer YMCA programs and activities. Wichita State will offer a 15,000-square-foot Student Wellness Center, while Wesley Healthcare will operate a 4,000-square-foot urgent care facility for community use.