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Bradley Hilltopics

Summer 2007 • Volume 13, Issue 3
Hot topics
Recreation center  •  Pulitzer Prize feature photography

Recreation Center celebration

The groundbreaking for the new Markin Family Student Recreation Center on April 27 kicked off the construction of the 130,000-square-foot building and the University’s 15-year master plan. The facility is named in honor of David Markin '53, who gave a gift of $8 million to Bradley University.

University breaks ground for rec center

by Justin Phelps ‘05

The groundbreaking for the new Markin Family Student Recreation Center on April 27 kicked off the construction of the 130,000-square-foot building and a 15-year facility plan outlined by retiring University President David Broski.

The new recreation center, which will become one of the largest buildings on campus, is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2008. The replacement to Haussler Hall will have a natatorium, five basketball courts, two racquetball courts, a rock climbing wall, a bouldering wall, and almost four times the space for exercise equipment than campus currently holds.

“What we’ve ultimately done is make a statement to our students that their personal health is extremely important,” University Vice President for Business Affairs Gary Anna '75 said. Construction for the Robertson Memorial Field House replacement, which will sit in the space currently occupied by the Field House, is pending. Haussler Hall, minus the pool, will remain standing until the Field House replacement is built.

In addition to providing laboratory space and a state-of-the-art classroom to the Department of Nursing, the three-floored recreation center will house the Health Center, Wellness Center, and intramurals. Among the five basketball/volleyball courts will be a “championship court” for intramural tournaments. Research indicated intramural participants enjoyed the “championship atmosphere” offered by playing under the lights at Meinen Field. Attendance at intramural championships showed a need for seating, which will be available at the championship court.

The addition of a rock climbing wall and a bouldering wall (a horizontal wall which users “climb” horizontally a couple feet off the ground) was based on space availability and its popularity across the country. “A high percentage of new recreational facilities across the country have rock climbing walls,” Director of Intramural and Recreation Sports Mike Keup said. “It was definitely one of the two architectural statements or visual ‘wow’ factors as we heard (contractors) say. I think it will be a neat space, a fun program area. We’ll be able to do a lot of things with it. I think we’ll see a new club spin off it and some classes.”

Another point of interest includes the Multi-Activity Court (MAC court), a multipurpose court with permanent dasher boards, rounded corners and recessed goals. While it has basketball and volleyball capabilities, indoor soccer will be the priority for the MAC court. The facility will have a juice bar, and five multipurpose rooms to be used for everything from dance groups and fitness classes to fencing, martial arts, and meditation classes.

Recreation center  •  Pulitzer Prize feature photography