In early 2020, UNC Charlotte opened its first-ever campus facility solely dedicated to health and recreation. The University Recreation Center is a dynamic hub for student health and recreation, offering students a wide variety of recreation opportunities thanks to multi-purpose courts, indoor and outdoor pools, group fitness studios, a cycling studio, elevated running/walking track, space for cardiovascular and weight training and more.
For a deeper look at the center, Campus Rec spoke with Jim Walczyk, the school’s director of University Recreation, to talk about the facility, what it took to make it a reality and more.
The full piece is available online. Below are key excerpts.
On what students love most about the University Recreation Center?
It’s the incredible variety of recreation and fitness opportunities. Walking through our facility, we have different zones. We have an incredible array of cardio and strength machines, we have a turf playground area with sandbags, and more functional training tools. They love it.
We invested in a variety of and top-line equipment on purpose. We want our students to have great experiences. We want them to leave our institution informed about health and fitness. We want them to be smart consumers when they graduate and seek their own gyms to join.
In regard to our staff, they just love how this facility grows our impact on campus. We’re able to create new opportunities, offer entirely new programs, hire more students and work with more students. It’s a dream come true for our team.
On working with the CannonDesign and Jenkins Peer team?
We were incredibly fortunate to have the design partners we did. To be able to connect CannonDesign’s national expertise with Jenkins Peer’s strong local presence and history on our campus was just incredible. Even better, Colleen McKenna, the leader of CannonDesign’s Sports, Recreation and Wellness practice, is a UNC Charlotte alum. This created a cohesive team and culture of success for the project that helped us develop a vision and see it through.
This is the second recreation center project I’ve taken on in my career across the country along with several smaller projects. I’ve worked with many different teams and the team of CannonDesign and Jenkins Peer impressed me. Communication, feedback, engagement, creativity — they did it all and we couldn’t have asked for a better team.