Winter 1997
New Recreation Center Offers State-of-the-Art Health, Fitness and Adventure

JMU celebrated the grand opening last fall of its new $18.2 million, three-level, 140,000-square-foot University Recreation Center. The recreation center brings together intramural sports, aerobics, aquatics, sport clubs, open recreation and outdoor adventure into one building located across Interstate 81 from the original campus.

"This building is not about spectating events, it's about personal health and fitness for the JMU community," says Eric Nickel, director of university recreation and associate director of health and recreation.

The center provides the JMU community with state-of-the-art equipment and offers resources for new and innovative learning opportunities in recreational sports.

The recreation center, financed through revenue bonds, provides for JMU's growing student population with expanded activity areas and equipment. It is the first building constructed primarily for recreational use since Godwin Hall opened in 1972 and JMU's enrollment was 5,500.

Inside the glass atrium at center court, visitors have a 360-degree view of the new facilities. Glass walls make workout choices easy. The lower-level fitness room is outfitted with free weights, dumbbells and strength machinery. This room alone surpasses the current occupancy of the Godwin Wellness Center.

Also on the first floor is an 11-lane pool for laps and water aerobics, a sauna, jacuzzi and eight racquetball courts with glass walls. An aerobics studio features front and rear mirrored walls and floating hardwood maple floors to cushion the impact from workouts.

The second-floor fitness room offers a more individualized workout. The room boasts a selection of new cardio-fitness equipment like climbers, step machines, stationary bikes and more.

On the main floor the Multi Activity Center, with its curved corners, provides space for indoor soccer, hockey, badminton and other intramurals. For martial arts and other specialty classes, the multipurpose room has floating wood floors, a mirrored wall and a padded wall.

The Main Gym can be divided into quadrants by a mesh curtain system and offers four basketball courts and volleyball courts.

On the third floor is a three-lane, one-tenth-mile suspended indoor track. An exit leads to an upper Astroturf field for sport clubs and intramural sports. Adjacent to the courts and field are recreation student leader offices.

Also outside is a sand volleyball court, lounge area and barbecue pit. And to complete the picture, a center for outdoor adventure coordinates trips, tours and classes and lends hiking and camping equipment, canoes, cooking kits and more so that students can extend their recreation beyond campus.

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