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Rendering of climbing wall that will be part of the expanded University Recreation Center at James Madison University Rendering courtesy of James Madison University
<p>Rendering of climbing wall that will be part of the expanded University Recreation Center at James Madison University. <em>Rendering courtesy of James Madison University.</em></p>

James Madison University Doubling the Size of Recreation Center

First phase of $57 million project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2015.

A $57 million expansion and renovation of the recreation center now underway at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, will double the size of the facility.

The first phase of the project--adding 140,000 square feet of space directly behind the existing center—is scheduled for completion at the end of the year. Renovation of parts of the existing 140,000-square-foot center—known on campus as UREC—will be completed in 2016.

The university says the additional space is needed to keep up with the increasing student enrollment. UREC was built in 1996 when James Madison had 12,500 students; now enrollment is close to 20,000, and a busy day in the center can mean more than 4,500 visitors.

The expanded recreation center will have about 2.5 times the weight, fitness and cardio spaces of the existing facility. It also will have five group fitness studios; two multi-activity gym and court spaces, with two regulation basketball and volleyball courts in each; a special events gym with two basketball and volleyball courts, a batting cage and floor hockey goals; an indoor track; an instructional pool and spa that will be about four times the size of the old one; and an outdoor courtyard.

The renovated space will house a climbing wall, bouldering wall, instructional space; studios for massage, personal training and small group fitness instruction; squash and racquetball courts; meeting space; and changing and locker rooms.

The project is incorporating sustainable design elements with a goal of achieving LEED Silver certification for environmentally friendly design.


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