A ceremonial ground breaking for a new wellness center will take place on Monday, September 22, 2014, at the University of Minnesota Crookston. The ceremony, which begins at 12:15 p.m., will be held on the site of the new wellness center just west of the Sports Center. All are welcome and parking is available in Lot G near the Kiehle Building on campus.
Prior to the ground breaking there will be a major gift announcement for the project by the Office of Development & Alumni Relations. The announcement will take place in the Prairie Room, Sargeant Student Center at 11:30 a.m.
Guests for the ceremony include University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, along with several members of the U of M Board of Regents and the Minnesota Legislature.
When completed, the new wellness center will be approximately 36,000 square feet featuring a two-court recreational gymnasium space, workout and fitness spaces, locker rooms, public spaces, a classroom, and a multipurpose room.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed the 2014 Legislative Bonding Bill last May. The bill included state funding for several projects for the University of Minnesota system, one of which was a $10 million allocation for a Wellness Center at the Crookston campus. An additional $5 million will be raised for the project through philanthropic efforts.
Originally built in 1930 when the campus was a residential high school, the current recreational facility, the UMC Sports Center, has been significantly updated only once–in 1980 when Lysaker Gymnasium was added along with some additional office space and training rooms. The central core of the facility, Knutson Gymnasium, is more than 80 years old and houses the current fitness and exercise area.
The Sports Center is shared by varsity athletics, intramural sports, and the student body. Because of the need for student-athletes to use the facility for conditioning, practice and training, it is overcrowded and virtually inaccessible to most other students.
Studies indicate that college wellness facilities have a positive impact on successful student persistence, grade point average, and graduation rates. These studies also show that habits related to wellness directly impact lifelong health and are connected to a stronger workforce. In addition, the Wellness Center will help enhance academic programs such as UMC’s sport and recreation management, and develop new opportunities to meet workforce needs for training in the areas of health and wellness.