New recreation center set to open for fall semester

Posted on Jun 25 2019 - 3:16pm by Madeline Click

The new South Campus Recreation Center, located off Whirlpool Trails, is set to be finished this summer. The original timeline had the building set to be completed in the fall of 2018, but it is now scheduled to be open for the beginning of the fall semester 2019, with a few additional elements that are planned to be completed by January 2020.

The facility will provide more opportunities for the university and Oxford community to work toward their health and fitness goals. It will also provide University of Mississippi students a state of the art recreation center. It will serve as a “hub” for student activity at the university and inspire an active lifestyle.

Photo by Katherine Butler.

The Turner Center, which is the current recreation center on campus, covers only 9,000 square feet with a fitness center and three fitness studios. It will still remain the on-campus recreation center, but Peter Tulchinsky, the Director of Campus Recreation, said he felt the current center was not fitting for the growth of the university.

“The facility was needed to provide additional recreation space and services due to theuniversity’s enrollment growth, as well as expansion of recreational program offerings,”Tulchinsky said.

The new facility will cover 98,000 square feet and have a more modern appearance. It will include an expanded fitness space, three fitness studios, two basketball courts, a multi-activity court for indoor soccer and floor hockey and a walking/jogging track.

Aside from those new amenities, the center will house the nation’s only collegiate recreation indoor high-ropes courses and an indoor and outdoor functional training zone. It will also include an indoor climbing tower and bouldering wall, the only one in north Mississippi, as well as a demonstration kitchen and a convenience store.

Two fields for intramural sports, sports clubs and informal recreation will be located next to the facility. There will also be a sidewalk connecting the new recreation center to the South Campus Rail Trail. This will be a link to provide indoor and outdoor recreation options.

The South Campus Recreation Center will house the William Magee Center for Wellness Education and the Department of Parking and Transportation. The outdoor programming and personal training services will have dedicated office areas as well.

The new recreation center was constructed with hopes of bringing in more student and faculty involvement and to be an attractive addition for prospective students and student athletes.

“The facility will have a significant impact on participation, as we expect at least a 10 percent increase in student patrons,” Tulchinsky said. “It will also be a showcase facility for the university and should have an impact on the recruitment and retention of students.”

The new recreation center project had a total budget of $32 million.

Current Ole Miss students will have full access to the facility, as the fees are included in tuition, but there will also be several membership opportunities for faculty, staff, alumni and community members who would like admission and usage of the facility.

The South Campus Recreation Center will be located at the former Whirlpool property off of Chucky Mullins Drive. It will provide over 700 parking spaces as well as service on the O.U.T. bus lines and shuttles to main campus.