The University of South Carolina-Beaufort has formally dedicated its new 22,581-square-foot recreation center on the Hilton Head Gateway campus in Bluffton, SC.
The $3.6 million Sand Shark Recreation Center opened in January on land southeast of the campus library. It is considered the centerpiece of the Sand Shark Recreation Complex, which also includes four acres of multipurpose recreational fields.
The facility enables the university to offer expanded fitness and recreation opportunities for its 1,800 students, about 600 of whom live in campus housing.
"We've been busy since the first day," says Lindsey Logue, program coordinator for recreation, fitness and intramurals at the university. "Students were waiting to get in at 8 a.m., and at 6:30 or 7 at night, it was still packed with students.
The center’s gymnasium has two basketball courts that provide indoor workout space for athletic teams as well as a site for intramural sports. The facility also houses a fitness center, aerobics room, athletic training room and offices for the athletic department.
"We now have a space dedicated solely as a group exercise room," says Logue. "Until now, we had to share space with other clubs and organizations."
At the Feb. 5 dedication of the center, Athletic Director Quin T. Monahan told the crowd: “I’m sure it comes as no surprise to any of us here today…the tremendous success and significance this new facility has for our student body. Club sports, intramurals and fitness opportunities abound in an indoor recreation center such as this, opportunities that never existed prior to the opening of these doors…As I walk through the facility day in and day out, it still amazes me to see the number of students utilizing the new and improved fitness center, the aerobics room and certainly this gymnasium.”
Funding for the project came from a direct cash investment by the Beaufort-Jasper Higher Education Commission.