Auburn University unveils $72 million Recreation and Wellness ce - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Auburn University unveils $72 million Recreation and Wellness center for students

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Pool deck at Auburn University's new Recreation and Wellness Center, which opened Tuesday, August 20, 2013. (Photo Courtesy of Todd Van Emst) Pool deck at Auburn University's new Recreation and Wellness Center, which opened Tuesday, August 20, 2013. (Photo Courtesy of Todd Van Emst)

AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn University opened the new 240,000-square-foot Recreation and Wellness Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony today.

Students, faculty and staff got their 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.

Large murals of landscapes, waterways and other nearby outdoor settings are found throughout the center.

Auburn University's new Recreation and Wellness Center includes the nation's longest indoor running track. (Photo courtesy of Todd Van Emst)

"Students challenged us in the planning stages to create the feeling of being outdoors while inside the building," said Director of Campus Recreation Jennifer Jarvis. "The murals and the Livingston Courtyard do just that."

The courtyard – a tranquil area 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.

One of the eight basketball courts at Auburn University's new Recreation and Wellness Center. (Photo courtesy of Todd Van Emst)

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 $72 million project.

"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.

For more information about the Recreation and Wellness Center, go to https://cws.auburn.edu/campusRec.

Source:  Auburn University Media Relations

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