Vanderbilt officially opened up the multipurpose facility wing of its Recreation Center Tuesday, November 5 with a brief media event that included most of the head coaches.
Director of Athletics David Williams thanked donors and many others who helped make the magnificent structure a reality. Women’s tennis coach Geoff Macdonald, representing all the head coaches as the department’s longest tenured coach, echoed his thanks and spoke to the department’s progressive attitude as it pushes for excellence.
With the ceremony, that section of the project is open for use by the campus community as well as the varsity teams during designated periods. The renovations and additions to the Recreation Center will be finished in early January.
Ground was officially broken on September 18, 2012 on the more than $30 million project, which is being funded by a combination of philanthropy and university investment. The improvements to the recreation center are expected to be completed by January, 2014.
The construction involves enhancing the existing Student Recreation Center so that it can serve the entire Vanderbilt community. The multipurpose facility includes a 120-yard-long indoor practice field, surrounded by a 6-lane, 300-meter indoor track.
The project, which re-imagines sports and fitness at the university, moves toward the trend on many college campuses of combined recreation facilities that serve students, faculty and staff.
“This is an exciting opportunity to offer our faculty and staff larger and additional exercise facilities, our students enhanced wellness programs, and our varsity, club and intramural teams increased indoor practice and playing space – developments that we hope will have long-lasting effects at Vanderbilt and on Nashville,” Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos said. “The momentum we have been able to build around this project has been incredible and I cannot thank enough the donors who have had the commitment and vision to make this a reality.”
The indoor practice field is available for varsity teams, including football, soccer and lacrosse, as well as intramural and club sports teams. The indoor track is also open for use by the university’s athletic teams and students, faculty and staff.
Upgrades to the recreation center include expanding weight training, multi-purpose spaces, and cardiovascular and fitness areas, as well as the addition of a four-lane bowling alley that will both support the university’s varsity bowling team and provide a new recreational activity.
The current Student Recreation Center is located between 25th Avenue South and Natchez Trace. The building backs up to Children’s Way.
The university’s faculty and staff wellness program, Health Plus, will be relocated to the expanded recreation center. Health Plus is currently located on the top floor of the Kensington Garage on 25th Avenue next to Memorial Gym. In addition, employees will have access to the Student Recreation Center’s swimming pool, larger locker rooms and expanded hours.
The multipurpose facility is expected to have some impact on the local community as well because it will increase the capacity for some of Vanderbilt’s popular summer camps for children used by the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities. There will also be limited rental opportunities for the Nashville community, such as the hosting of major indoor high school track meets.
Vanderbilt Athletics Director David Williams provides Commodore fans with a tour of the new multipurpose facility and recreation center expansion.