New Recreation and Wellness Center is a facility unlike any other

Access to a healthier lifestyle became a lot easier for Auburn students and employees this fall with the opening of the new 240,000-square-foot Recreation and Wellness Center.

The Auburn Family got its first look inside the $72 million facility, which includes the nation's longest indoor running track, a five-story rock-climbing wall and a 45-person tiger-paw-shaped hot tub, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in August. Thousands now use the facility each day in their pursuit of fitness and wellness.

In addition to a long list of amenities, large murals of landscapes, waterways and other nearby outdoor settings are found throughout the center.

"We have something for everyone and I think we will become a destination for our students," said Director of Campus Recreation Jennifer Jarvis. "I think our students realize now that they have a reason to stay on campus."

A tranquil courtyard featuring benches, plants and a water fountain brings the outdoors into the center. It is surrounded by racquetball courts, weight training areas, group exercise studios and other center amenities, including a large outdoor pool and leisure area; cardio/fitness training areas; eight basketball courts; a golf simulator; strength equipment; a multipurpose court; outdoor recreation; and a game room.

The grand opening ceremony was the culmination to what began in 2009 under the leadership of then-SGA president Lauren Hayes. Auburn students voted to assess themselves an increase in activity fees, raising funds to help build the project.

"I think it had been talked about, honestly for decades. Everyone knew we needed a new center but when I came into my presidency it really was just the right time to take it to the next level," Hayes said.

"This facility is uniquely Auburn," said Jarvis. "We are excited to open our doors for the first time and give our students a world-class facility that will serve their fitness needs."

The new center is located across Heisman Drive from the Village Housing Community and is adjacent to the Martin Aquatics Center and Student Activities Center. It complies with green building, or LEED, standards, reinforcing the university's pledge to make sustainability one of Auburn's guiding principles.

 By Jourdan Cooper, Mike Clardy and Kevin Fichtner, Office of Communications & Marketing

Last Updated: 9/20/2013