The process to build the UA Student Recreation Center dates to the mid-1970s, when students lobbied the UA for a facility dedicated to student recreation and wellness. (Photo: Jacob Chinn/UA Alumni Association)
The process to build the UA Student Recreation Center dates to the mid-1970s, when students lobbied the UA for a facility dedicated to student recreation and wellness. (Photo: Jacob Chinn/UA Alumni Association)

Student Rec Center Turns 25, Plans Monthly Celebration

The Department of Campus Recreation logs more than 1 million visits a year, offering a diverse menu of programs, classes, activities and open recreation opportunities.
Aug. 24, 2015
Extra Info: 

Read more about how the UA is helping to support students beyond academics: Feeding the Mind, Nurturing the Body and Soul

 

And more ways to engage in the 25th anniversary of the Student Recreation Center: 

  • Share a story about the center on the Campus Recreation site.
  • Participate in the 2015 UAFit Challenge, a HealthyU Interactive program supported by Student Affairs Enrollment Management and also Academic Initiatives and Student Success.
  • Consider making a donation to the center via the UA Foundation.
  • Save the date for homecoming events.
UA Campus Rec works to stay current on its offerings, providing TRX, yoga and other popular options to UA affiliates. (Photo courtesy of UA Campus Recreation)
UA Campus Rec works to stay current on its offerings, providing TRX, yoga and other popular options to UA affiliates. (Photo courtesy of UA Campus Recreation)
UA Campus Recreation has more than 1 million visitors annually, with expansive activity offerings that this fall include sword training, hip-hop lessons, ballet, classic Indian dance, yoga, self-defense and Aikido.
UA Campus Recreation has more than 1 million visitors annually, with expansive activity offerings that this fall include sword training, hip-hop lessons, ballet, classic Indian dance, yoga, self-defense and Aikido.

Twenty-five years ago, when the Web was new and Jazzercise was a popular group-fitness program, a dedicated recreation facility was built to serve the student body at the University of Arizona.

This year, the UA Student Recreation Center has reached its quarter-century birthday.

"The UA has always embraced the importance of keeping both the mind and body fit," said Melissa Vito, senior vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and senior vice provost for Academic Initiatives and Student Success.

Today, the UA Department of Campus Recreation receives more than 1 million visits a year, offering a diverse menu of programs, classes, activities and open recreation opportunities. The facility now serves students, faculty, staff, alumni and other UA affiliates.

"The 25th anniversary of the Recreation Center recognizes our best-in-class recreation facilities, as well as the dedication and energy of the Campus Recreation team, who create state-of-the-art physical activity, recreation and wellness opportunities for the entire campus community," Vito said. "They truly lead the way in inspiring a healthy and engaged lifestyle for all of us."

Campus Recreation has planned several anniversary events in honor of the 25th anniversary.

The celebration kicked off Monday with "Meet Me at the Rec," an event held at the William David Sitton Field at the Student Recreation Center, which is at 1400 E. Sixth St.

Also, on the 25th day of each month through April, Campus Recreation will offer free entry for individuals affiliated with the UA in addition to fitness opportunities, themed classes, giveaways, raffles, and other special events and activities.

The process to build the Student Recreation Center dates to the mid-1970s, when students lobbied the UA for a facility dedicated to student recreation and wellness. In 1979, a committee was appointed to study the separation of physical education and intramurals from the UA Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.

In 1985, the Arizona Board of Regents approved legislation for the purpose of building a student recreation facility, and UA students voted in favor of a referendum calling for a $25-per-semester fee to help pay for the building. These student efforts lead to the creation of what is now the Student Recreation Center.

The new facility opened during the 1990-1991 academic year, featuring two levels of activity space, including basketball courts, racquetball courts, and dance and aerobics rooms. The building also included a juice bar, weight rooms and a swimming pool.

With the debut of Campus Recreation, more comprehensive recreation programs and services, such as aquatics programs, group fitness and personal training, and outdoor adventure offerings came into place. 

The center has received national acclaim over the years.

In 2010, the building saw a significant renovation and update, leading to it becoming the first of three LEED platinum certified buildings on campus. Issued by the U.S. Green Building Council, the certification recognized the UA building's energy efficiency and design and construction practices that increase longevity while reducing the negative environmental impacts.

Also, the 54,000-square-foot expansion included the addition of a fitness center, an outdoor adventure facility and a multi-use activity court gymnasium. Programming has expanded to include comprehensive activity and wellness offerings.