Groundbreaking ceremony set for The U's new wellness center

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota is breaking ground at 11 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 26 for its new wellness center, an exciting new 61,000 square foot facility scheduled for completion in spring 2011.

The wellness center is a $15 million fitness center that will be located north of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts. This eagerly anticipated addition to the USD campus will serve as a campus hub of recreation, fitness and intramural sports. Scheduled to attend Monday’s ceremony include USD President James W. Abbott; Richard Van Den Hul, vice president of finance and administration at USD; Joel Nielsen, USD Athletics Director and co-chair of the Wellness Center Planning Committee; Ryan Budmayr, former SGA President at USD; Kirsten Compary, associate dean of students at The U and co-chair of the Wellness Center Planning Committee;  Paul Klein with RDG Planning & Design; and Eric Schuler, project manager with the Henry Carlson Company.

“The wellness center will provide students with an extraordinary venue for recreation, health and fitness whether it’s intramural sports or working out on their own,” said Jeff Baylor, acting vice president of marketing, enrollment and student services. “Everyone is eager for the completion of this project as it’s further evidence of our commitment to students that we’re enhancing the overall campus experience at USD.”

Boasting state-of-the-art workout equipment, a multi-story climbing wall and a Multipurpose Activity Court (MAC), the wellness center will have a large open workout space with treadmills, exercise bicycles, elliptical machines, stretching mats and a weight room space with free weights and strength-training equipment. In addition to two racquetball courts, the facility will include multiple recreation courts for basketball and volleyball; group fitness studios for aerobics, Pilates and yoga; a three-lane walking/jogging track; locker rooms; and offices for the wellness center staff.

A rendering of the wellness center is available at www.usd.edu/urelations/images/Wellness_Center.jpg.