USD Wellness Center fit for Feb. 1 grand opening celebration

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota is celebrating its new Wellness Center with a grand opening at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb 1.

The grand opening includes a ribbon-cutting ceremony along with a rock climbing wall demonstration and tours of the $15 million, 61,000 square foot facility. Refreshments will also be provided following the ceremony, which is open to the public.

“The Wellness Center provides our students with an extraordinary venue for recreation, health and fitness whether students are playing intramural sports or working out on their own,” said James L. Parker, dean of students. “Everyone is extremely excited for the grand opening of this facility as it is further evidence of our commitment to students that we are enhancing the overall campus experience at USD.”

Located directly north of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts building, the Wellness Center is the campus hub of recreation at USD with personal training and group fitness opportunities, intramural sports and a climbing wall that stands 38-feet tall, features 4,300 hold combinations and nine rope stations. In addition, the  Wellness Center features two racquetball courts, multiple recreation courts for basketball and volleyball, group fitness studios for aerobics, Pilates and yoga, a three-lane walking/jogging track, locker rooms; and state-of-the-art workout equipment, including exercise bicycles, elliptical machines and a large weight room filled with treadmills and strength training equipment. 

While the Wellness Center is free for students with a USD I.D., it is open to members of the community offering single, couple and family monthly and annual memberships. Daily guest passes are also available at the door. Hours of operation are 5 a.m. to 12 a.m. Monday through Thursday; 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday; 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday; and 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

“The Wellness Center offers more than just fitness and recreation; it’s an opportunity for students to improve their lifestyle and create balance outside of the classroom,” added Parker, who noted that 2,802 people used the Wellness Center during its first day of public operation, Monday, Jan. 17. “Creating healthy living habits and maintaining good physical and mental health for our students is definitely a priority for us.”