Skip to main content
Main content

B-CU Breaks Ground on Two New Buildings

Larry R. Handfield Athletic Training Center & Lee Rhyant Residential Life Center


On Thursday, October 22, Bethune-Cookman University held groundbreaking ceremonies for two new buildings – the Larry R. Handfield Athletic Training Center and the Lee Rhyant Residential Life Center.  The ceremonies took place on the sites of the new buildings and featured participation by B-CU President Trudie Kibbe Reed, Trustee Chairman Larry R. Handfield, Trustee Lee Rhyant as well as B-CU student and alumni representatives.  

The new facilities are part of an ongoing series of recent campus improvements that include the L. Gale Lemerand School of Nursing Building, the Center for Civic Engagement and the Alexis Pugh and Eugene Zimmerman Scholarship Houses.

“I am delighted to announce that Bethune-Cookman University is breaking ground on two new buildings that will improve the quality of life and quality of educational experience for our students,” commented B-CU President Trudie Kibbe Reed.  “Through the outstanding fundraising efforts of our alumni and strong financial stewardship, we are able to move forward with no debt attached to either building.  They are fully paid for.”   
The Larry R. Handfield Athletic Training Center (click for more info about the center), to be located on the southeast corner of West International Speedway Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue, will provide B-CU’s student-athletes with a cutting edge facility designed to enhance their performance on the playing field and their pride in being a Fighting Wildcat.  Included in the new facility is space for a co-ed strength and conditioning center that will be available to all B-CU athletes.  The strength and conditioning center will be located on the building’s first floor with easy access to new offices for athletic training staff, hydrotherapy, x-ray and treatment rooms.  

B-CU alumni played a critical role raising the $4.6 million for the building, with regional alumni chapters competing in a “chapter challenge” contest that successfully raised the majority of funds.  The building will be named for Dr. Larry R. Handfield (’78), chairman of B-CU’s Board of Trustees and the first alumnus to hold that position.  Handfield is an attorney based in Miami.

The Lee Rhyant Residential Life Center (click for more info about the center), to be located on Martin Luther King Boulevard, will provide B-CU students with a new, comfortable living environment and dedicated areas for study and social interaction.  Housing 270 students in three residence wings, the building will also include a café on the first floor and common areas featuring study, lounge and classroom space as well as laundry facilities.  

Funding for the $ 6 million new residence hall was generated from a combination of targeted fundraising and a financial stewardship program that has allowed the University to create a dedicated building fund.    The building will be named in honor of Dr. Lee Rhyant (’72), who also serves on the B-CU Board of Trustees.  Rhyant is the executive vice president and general manager for the Marietta, Ga., facility of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company.  

In keeping with the University’s commitment to environmental stewardship, both buildings will be constructed using energy efficient materials and techniques.

Office of Public Relations

Liz Poston

PH: 386-481-2990

About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

To Top