New $16.7 million recreation center opens Sunday, Aug. 17

Above: The climbing wall in the new Campus Recreation Center ascends 50 feet into a skylight.

Above: The climbing wall in the new Campus Recreation Center ascends 50 feet into a skylight.

Western Carolina University’s recently completed $16.7 million Campus Recreation Center opens for business Sunday, Aug. 17, at 1 p.m.

In the building’s 73,000 square feet of space, visitors can ascend a 50-foot climbing wall; play basketball or volleyball on two multipurpose courts; lift weights; get their heart rate up on treadmills or other cardiovascular equipment; or meet with a personal trainer in a private fitness assessment room.

Upstairs, they can join a yoga, step, spinning or other class in one of two mirror-lined group exercise studios, or walk or jog on the indoor one-eighth-mile track.

Multipurpose Courts

Multipurpose Courts

“This is a top-notch facility – one of the finest I have been in in a very long time,” said Kellie Angelo Monteith, director of campus recreation and wellness. “I walked in and thought, ‘Western is so lucky,’ – lucky to have this facility and lucky to have it in such a great location. You can socialize in the quad area and then walk on the track at the recreation center before getting a cup of coffee and going to a meeting at the University Center. We’re also close to the bookstore and across the lawn from the dining hall and residence halls that are under construction now.”

Chuck Wooten, vice chancellor for administration and finance, and Kellie Angelo Monteith, director of campus recreation and wellness, in the new Campus Recreation Center.

Chuck Wooten, vice chancellor for administration and finance, and Kellie Angelo Monteith, director of campus recreation and wellness, in the new Campus Recreation Center.

The center’s regular hours, which take effect Monday, Aug. 18, are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 9 p.m. Sunday. Students need only to present their CatCards to gain access. In August, faculty and staff can show their CatCards to try the center for free. Memberships will be available for faculty, staff and their families, as well as alumni, to purchase each semester.

Events will be hosted at the recreation center throughout the week. On Monday, Aug. 18, and Thursday, Aug. 21, a “Climb the Wall” clinic will begin at 4 p.m., and a “Get Started” session with personal trainers will start at 6 p.m. On Tuesday, a sample class of group exercise courses will be held at 6 p.m.

“When you see the outside of the new recreation center, you say, ‘Oh, that’s really big. That’s going to be great,’ but when you walk inside, you realize you had no idea just how tall, vibrant and amazing the facility is,” said Meredith Morgan, a senior parks and recreation management major from Gastonia and the center’s group exercise specialist.

Indoor Track

Indoor Track

“Almost everywhere inside, there’s a sense of space and also curiosity because you can see from one area to another – from the treadmills to the climbing wall, or from the indoor track to the basketball courts. When incoming students see the center, they are excited – as I am – to get to use new equipment in a new facility that offers as many fun fitness activities as you can think of.”

Group Exercise Studios

Group Exercise Studios

For more information, check out the Web site for the Campus Recreation Center. For a schedule of WCU events, go to the Events Calendar.

Note: Pictured above right is Chuck Wooten, vice chancellor for administration and finance, and Kellie Angelo Monteith, director of campus recreation and wellness, at the Campus Recreation Center.