Faculty, staff invited to explore recreation center expansion

By Staff
CU-Boulder Rec Center

The newly remodeled weightlifting room in the Recreation Center at the University of Colorado Boulder. (Photo: Casey A. Cass/University of Colorado)

The University of Colorado Boulder’s expansion of the Student Recreation Center, a project initiated by students, opened Friday. The southwest addition, the second and largest phase of the project, is located just north of the Ramaley Biology Building and east of Sewall Hall and provides an additional 83,000 square feet of indoor recreational space.

The campus community is invited to attend “Reconnect with the Rec” Tuesday, Jan. 21, through Friday, Jan. 24. CU-Boulder faculty and staff members are invited to use the facility for free during this time. The event will provide the opportunity to experience and learn more about the southwest addition.

Festivities at the free event will include personal trainers and equipment vendors on site, group exercise demonstrations, facility tours, climbing wall competitions, giveaways, snacks and more. For a full schedule of events go to

The portions opening this month include a three-level weight and cardio area; three new wood floor all-purpose indoor courts for basketball, volleyball and badminton; a climbing wall and bouldering area; three fitness studios; wellness suites; new locker rooms and a spacious entrance and lobby.

“Recreation facilities have always been extremely popular among CU-Boulder students and over the years we found that our current facilities were not keeping up with the demand,” said Chris Schaefbauer, CU Student Government tri-executive. “In surveys of our peers, we found CU students participate in recreational activities at a rate higher than the national average, but that our indoor recreation and fitness space per student was lower than the national average.”

The new ice rink opened in November and the Rental and Resource Center, which will rent camping and outdoor equipment, opens in mid-February. The final phase of the project, which consists of an indoor turf field, tennis courts, outdoor pool and the renovation of the existing basketball courts, is on track for completion in April.

The $63.5 million project was funded through the sale of bonds to be repaid through student fees collected over a 25-year period. In April 2011, the CU-Boulder student body voted to support the expansion and renovation of the Recreation Center. Nearly 37 percent of eligible student voters participated in the election, the largest ever student turnout, and over 70 percent voted “yes” to increase student fees in support of the expansion and renovation.

“With this state-of-the-art addition and the significant improvements to the Recreation Center, the students and the campus community will indeed have a remarkable facility at their disposal,” said Gary Chadwick, interim director of recreation facilities. “This is certainly an exciting time for the Recreation Services staff, who are anxious to begin offering the students the numerous opportunities that this center provides.”

Students will have 30,000 square feet of state-of-the-art cardiovascular and strength training equipment, a lower-level strength area, several additional cardiovascular and stretching spaces, and a “cardio equipment green zone” that captures user energy produced during exercises to feed back into the power grid and offset some power consumption within the facility.

A 4,000-square-foot-climbing wall built by Eldorado Designs contains areas for bouldering, lead climbing and top-rope climbing. The lead and top-rope areas reach up to 38 feet. The beginner to advanced bouldering terrain reaches a maximum height of 14 feet. The northeast corner consists of shot rock and is designed as an educational area for anchor building, lead climbing and multi-pitch climbing along with gear anchor building.

Three additional multipurpose fitness studios and a mind-body studio will provide members many opportunities to participate in fitness, mind-body, martial arts, Pilates reformer and dance classes.

The Wellness Suite will provide fitness assessments, nutrition clinics, personal training consultations, and the muscular skeletal clinic. The Wellness Suite also will serve to support student success in living a healthy, balanced lifestyle.