Troy University officially dedicated the new Trojan Fitness and Wellness Center during a ceremony Tuesday at the 78,000-square-foot facility.
The center, which opened in January, includes a multi-activity court, a basketball court, free and circuit weight training areas, aerobic exercise rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, a multi-level walking track and four offices.
More than 5,000 students used the facility last week alone, according to Health and Wellness Director Shane Tatum.
“The core purpose of the Trojan Fitness and Wellness Center is to give students a place to come socialize with friends or to relieve stress after a busy day of work or class,” Tatum said.
The $25 million center was a student-led initiative, recommended by the Student Government Association funded through student recreation fees that were implemented in 2016.
“This was born of students, paid for by students and will serve students,” said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor. “This was a student-driven project more than any other project I can remember. We’re so grateful that this has culminated in what I think will be one of the great fitness centers in Alabama. It’s a credit to the campus, and it gives us a new face for the campus.”
The building, located on the corner of George Wallace Drive and University Avenue, is now one of the first sites visitors will see when they enter the campus.
“When I graduated in 1987, I could not imagine we could have a facility like this,” said Gibson Vance, President pro-tempore of the TROY Board of Trustees. “At the end of the day, what we do is one thing — we try to make decisions on what is best for our students. We’re so proud of this facility because of how we got here. It was the SGA, the students, who came up with the idea of having this facility and how to fund this facility. They went to administration, crunched the numbers and brought this idea to the board.”
Current SGA President Morgan Long thanked his predecessors for their vision and selflessness.
“We have students who have paid that [$100 per semester] fee for four years and don’t have the opportunity now to use it, but they saw the vision along with us for this facility to benefit students in the future,” Long said. “This building is the testament to the great relationship our admin and board have with our students.”
The Trojan Fitness and Wellness Center includes a massive, beautiful piece of artwork from acclaimed artist Janet Nolan.
Titled “High Tide,” the assemblage hangs down above the center’s atrium, a colorful tapestry of crushed cans the late artist collected.
“The first thing you encounter in this wonderful facility is a very unique piece of art that was left by the late artist Janet Nolan,” Hawkins said. “What do we have in common with Harvard University? Many things, but in particular, Janet Nolan, because a piece similar to what is hanging in this atrium was commissioned by Harvard and now hangs on their campus. It reflects sustainability.”
During the ceremony, Hawkins honored the family of Will Brooks, a TROY student who died in December. Brooks worked for Whaley Construction and helped build the Trojan Fitness and Wellness Center.