University of Pittsburgh
April 4, 2019

Students Enlisted to Shape the Future of Health and Wellness at Pitt

University forms student advisory group to guide fitness center’s evolution

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh is engaging students in planning a state-of-the-art center for fitness, well-being and recreation on O’Hara Street in Oakland. The new center — which will physically link the University’s upper and lower campuses — is slated to open for student, faculty and staff use in 2022. Projected at around 300,000 square feet, the center will accommodate a range of wellness, fitness, club and recreational activities and support students’ pursuit of an active, healthy and engaged lifestyle during their time on campus.

“Our vision is to create a cutting-edge, centrally located wellness and recreation space,” said Kenyon R. Bonner, vice provost and dean of students. “It’s a transformative recreation center that our students have long advocated for — and one that will quickly become a new nonacademic core of our University community.”

The center’s location at the heart of campus positions it to serve as a natural convening space for students throughout Oakland. Accordingly, the University will actively engage students throughout the project’s evolution and use their input to inform the center’s design, programming and priorities. 

On this front, Bonner has formed an advisory panel — composed of undergraduate and graduate students — to gather student perspectives on the project. The panel’s first meeting on Monday, April 8, will cover programming needs, project timeline and design concepts. It will also examine similar centers at other academic institutions.  

“I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to participate on the student advisory committee,” said Taylor Funke, a member of the class of 2020. “Campus recreation has been a key aspect of my personal well-being during my undergraduate experience, and I am honored to help shape the future of recreation at Pitt.” 

Beyond gathering student input, the University has established an advisory panel composed of faculty and staff representatives. Both groups will remain active during the center’s evolution — from design development to opening day. In addition, all University community members will have a chance to submit feedback via an online portal, which will launch in the coming weeks, on the master plan website.  

The University has tapped architecture firm Moody Nolan to design the center, with construction slated to begin on existing Pitt property in spring 2020. The project is the first that the University has moved from idea to action as part of its campus master plan released in late 2018.

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