The Royce and Pam Money Student Recreation & Wellness Center is the big news on campus to begin the 2011-12 school year. The 18-month project has nearly reached its completion and will open on Friday, Sept. 2. RecFest, the grand opening party, is a free overnight celebration for students beginning late Friday night and continuing into Saturday morning.
“There’s no comparison between this and the old fitness center; the comparison is like night and day,” said Director Brian DeVost. “We will have so much available that we’ve never had on campus in the past; there’s so much to be excited about.”
The $21 million rec center, sometimes referred to as “The Bank” (because it’s the Money Center; get it?), is a large addition to campus at 113,000 square-feet, including the refurbished Gibson Health Center.
The Wellness Center features a bouldering wall, a lap pool, a leisure pool, a fitness center, and several basketball and racquetball courts, as well as a 1/8 mile running track, classrooms, studio exercise rooms, and the new smoothie bar, named “Oasis”.
“The fitness center will probably be the most-used area of the center,” DeVost said. “It’s the first thing people see when they walk in, and it kind of highlights the building.”
On a sneak-preview tour of the almost-finished facility, DeVost explained what kind of impact the new campus addition will have on students and campus life.
“Immediately, students and faculty and staff can and will be better educated about their health. We’ll give them their starting point, show them where they are physically so they can set goals to improve their health and diet,” he said. “In terms of long-term effects, this will give everyone a better toolbox of things to draw from to keep them healthy.”
The new fitness center offers many options not available last year to students on campus.
“I’m excited about The Bank,” said sophomore Sam Groom, a student desk-worker at the new facility. “It’s going to be a new hangout spot for students on campus with plenty of new things to do.”
Doors open on Friday at 11:30 a.m., and lunch will be served on the lawn outside Moody Coliseum.
“There’s also an outdoor patio just outside the pool where we’ll have parties and barbecues,” added DeVost. “You can go for a swim, lay out on the patio, play on the outside basketball court that’s right there, and spend time with friends. It’s going to be great.”