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Salt Lake City—The University of Utah has broken ground on a new $50.4 million student life and recreation facility after more than 10 years of planning and fundraising. The nearly 190,000-square-foot facility will be known as the George S. Eccles Student Life Center.
“Every day thousands of students will visit the George S. Eccles Student Life Center to swim, run, climb or simply read or relax with friends," said David W. Pershing, president of the University of Utah. "This amazing facility will become the vibrant center of a campus dedicated to the notion that education is about developing the whole person."
The center will be located just west of the George S. Eccles 2002 Legacy Bridge and adjacent to the Fort Douglas TRAX stop. The center will include a café and numerous study nooks, as well as three pools, five sport courts, 15,000 square feet of cardiovascular and weight lifting space, four fitness studios, a wellness studio and climbing walls.
Research has shown that students who participate in campus recreation feel happier, have a stronger sense of well-being and feel more a part of campus life. Moreover, student participation in recreational programs is directly correlated with positive health habits and behaviors such as participating in community service.
“With recreational services open year-round, seven days a week, the George S. Eccles Student Life Center will promote a more interactive campus with activities that provide a healthy break from studying. It will build a stronger campus community through engagement and encourage positive life-long habits,” said Barbara H. Snyder, vice president for Student Affairs.
The George S. Eccles Student Life Center was designed by MHTN Architects and Hastings+Chivetta, and is projected to open in December 2014.
The center is funded in large part by gifts and donations, including a naming rights gift from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, as well as gifts from Kem and Carolyn Gardner and the University Federal Credit Union. Support for the center also comes from a student-approved bond, University of Utah administration and non-student user fees.