President James Ramsey and more than 50 students signed the final beam on the 128,000-square-foot facility and watched as workers installed it at a “topping off” ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 5.
Scheduled to open in October 2013, the center will include an exercise and weight facility; six basketball courts; multi-activity court for indoor soccer and floor hockey; racquetball courts; aerobic studios; jogging track; fitness lab; classrooms and a gaming area. It also will feature a lighted, artificial-turf field for recreational use and physical education classes.
The first UofL building to be heated and cooled with geothermal energy, the Student Recreation Center is expected to earn gold certification through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
“This facility will help us continue to attract the best and brightest students to the University of Louisville,” Ramsey said. “Students today expect not only outstanding academic programs, but also social and recreational opportunities as part of their campus experience. Along with increased student housing and additional dining and recreation opportunities on and off campus, the Student Recreation Center will address that need.”
A $98 per semester student fee proposed and overwhelmingly supported by UofL’s Student Government Association will cover the construction costs. Almost 90 percent of student representatives voted for the construction in 2010.
“I am proud that our students stepped up to support this important project,” said SGA President Justin Brandt. “Students will enjoy the benefits of this facility for decades to come.”
The Donald C. and Lavinia Swain Student Activities Center, which opened in 1990, will continue to house student activities and organizations. Some of the building will be converted to offices, conference rooms and facilities to offer meeting and activity space for student organizations and the units that support them. UofL now has more than 300 recognized student organizations ranging from academic honor societies to clubs focused on gymnastics, video gaming and polo.