Student Recreation and Wellness Center opens at RU with ribbon cutting
Radford University celebrated the opening of the new Student Recreation and Wellness Center on Dec. 1 with a ribbon cutting and tours of the building.
Radford students gathered in anticipation outside the center at 9 a.m. on the first day back from Thanksgiving break.
"We have never had a facility like this at Radford University," said President Penelope W. Kyle, in a short address before the ribbon cutting. "This facility will provide recreation for some. You will play club sports and pick-up games. It will be about fitness for others. You will want to come and work out. But it is about wellness too. We are going to have counselors here that can help you with any issues you are having – whether they are dietary- or stress-related. The whole body, that is what this building is for."
Construction began on the more than 110,000-square-foot facility in fall 2012. It is now ready to serve as a new campus hub for RU students and includes an inclined running track, two floors of strength-training equipment, three floors of cardio and four fitness studios.
"Your health and well-being play a great role in your learning and what you do later in life," Kyle said. "What we devised for you here is a facility that we think will engage all parts of your well-being."
The new center also features three gym courts, two racquetball courts, a multi-activity court, locker rooms, a conference room and a classroom. The facility will house the Department of Student Recreation and Wellness, RU Outdoors, intramurals and club sports programs.
"When you get in this facility today, I don't believe that you'll think of anything that we have forgotten," Kyle said. She was joined in cutting the ribbon by members of Student Government Association and staff from Student Affairs, Student Activities, Recreation and Wellness and the Office of the Dean of Students.
The opening ceremony and ribbon cutting marked the beginning of use of the facility by RU students. The construction and opening of the center underscores RU’s commitment to the overall success and wellness of students.
David Parker, a junior criminal justice major from Lexington, wasted no time in trying out the center's amenities with a quick run on the track and some sets and reps in the downstairs weight room. He had been eagerly awaiting the opening, he said.
"I peeked through the windows and it looked like it had a lot to offer," Parker said. "This is a lot bigger than Peters Hall and it offers more space for people to hang out."
Parker, who especially liked the inclined track, thought the new facility surpassed even the professional gyms he has visited, he said.
Zoe Everard will be one of the students using the new facility regularly. The sophomore pre-nursing major from Northern Virginia is used to spending time at the gym – her mother is a personal trainer – and the new center rivals anything Everard has seen.
"I'm really excited about it," Everard said. "I tell all my roommates they're not going to be able to get me out of here."