Recreation Management cites USD Wellness Center for outstanding innovation architecture

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota Wellness Center has been selected as a winner in the 2012 Innovative Architecture & Design Awards contest by Recreation Management magazine.

Recreation Management, the number one fitness, sports and recreation information resource for recreation, sports and facility managers, names the USD Wellness Center in its 10th annual Innovative Architecture & Design Awards. Featured in the magazine’s May 2012 issue, the Wellness Center scores its highest marks based on its appearance from the outside and the originality of the design. The magazine praises the facility’s “use of materials” and declares that “the dramatic and welcoming entrance invites students to come inside and have some fun.” The abundance of natural light and skillful use of materials, color and details are also highlights of the building’s overall design, according to Recreation Management.

“This is great recognition for an outstanding facility,” said Jeff Baylor, vice president of marketing, enrollment and student services. “The Wellness Center deserves praise for its unique and innovative design, but also for its impact on student success and for contributing to a healthy and vibrant community.”

Designed by RDG Planning & Design out of Des Moines, Iowa, and built by the Henry Carlson Company of Sioux Falls, S.D., the 61,000 square-foot Wellness Center opened Jan. 17, 2011 and serves as a recreation hub for USD students and the city of Vermillion. The Wellness Center, completed at a cost of $15 million, is home to USD intramural sports, and features racquetball courts, courts for basketball and volleyball, a climbing wall that stands 38-feet tall, and fitness studios for aerobics, Pilates and yoga. State-of-the-art workout equipment includes everything from exercise bicycles and elliptical machines to a large weight room filled with treadmills and strength training equipment. For more information, please visit or find the Wellness Center on Facebook at


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 198 undergraduate and 79 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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Hailie Warren
USD News