|Pictured is the new state-of-the-art Wellness and Recreational Sports Complex that will open Monday, Aug. 27.|
"Our number one goal certainly is for the facility to have a positive impact on the health of our students not just today, but for the rest of their lives. Research shows that if young people initiate healthy habits of diet and exercise now, they have a good chance of continuing those throughout their lives. We are also optimistic the WRSC will have a positive impact on campus social life as well," Price said.
The $26 million facility, located on the corner of Sugar Road and Schunior Street, will offer students, staff and faculty numerous indoor and outdoor features including more than 10,000-square-feet of new weights and cardio equipment, a 34-foot climbing wall, a walking-jogging track, racquetball courts, indoor and outdoor basketball courts, aerobic studios with digital sound, outdoor tennis and sand volleyball courts, and an outdoor leisure pool with fountain, spa, and a lazy river.
In addition, the facility will offer several modern lounge spaces with wireless Internet service, and an "Energy Zone," a café that will provide post-workout healthy snacks and drinks.
"We hope this will encourage students to spend more time on campus in the evenings and weekends, and perhaps since the WRSC is right next door to our campus apartments and residence halls, even convince more students to live on campus," Price said. "So, yes, we want students to have fun here as well, but it is first and foremost a place for health and fitness. As I tell students, it is no accident that 'wellness' is the facility's first name."
Hours of operation for the WRSC will be from 6 a.m.- 10 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturdays, and noon to 7 p.m. on Sundays. Students will be required to show a validated BRONCard (campus ID card) to use the facility.
Price said all enrolled students will pay a mandatory flat fee of $75 per semester and $35 per summer session, no matter how many hours they are enrolled for. Faculty and staff, who are considered benefits-eligible employees, have the option to join the WRSC at $250 per year.
Also, alumni with a UTPA degree will be able to purchase a membership fee for $300 per year. In addition there will be lower-cost, shorter-term options for employees and alumni if they do not want to commit to a whole year Price said.
"This facility will be open evenings and weekends, giving students a chance to interact with each other at times and in ways that until now were not available. In addition, we hope many faculty and staff will become members too, so the students can benefit from increased interaction with them as well. For this reason we intentionally included plenty of comfortable lounge spaces in the facility. We want students to come and workout, but also hang out with each other during any downtime they have," he said.
Starting Aug. 27 through Sept. 2 there will be an open house for current faculty and staff to try out the facility at no cost. After Sept. 2, all faculty and staff wishing to use the facility will need to purchase an employee membership at the WRSC service desk, which can be purchased by check, credit card or payroll deduction. A membership application can be found at http://dos.utpa.edu/intramurals/main.htm.
A sneak preview of the Wellness and Recreational Sports Complex will be held Saturday, Aug. 25 from noon-7 p.m. for those eager to check out the facility and get a jumpstart on their workout regime. A validated BRONCard will be required to enter the facility.
For more information on the WRSC, call 956/292-0839 or visit the Web site at http://dos.utpa.edu/WRSC/.