The new student recreation center opens for spring semester

East Carolina University’s $18 million Student Recreation Center gives students one of the largest, best-equipped recreation and fitness centers in the region.

The 150,000-square-foot facility at the west end of the main campus covers almost three-and-a-half acres and is longer and wider than a football field. One of its most startling features is a mammoth sports forum divided into six full-size basketball courts each of which can be changed to accommodate badminton or volleyball.

There is also a swimming pool area that includes four pools designed for recreational play, fitness and sport. One of the pools is outdoors and is surrounded by a large sunbathing deck.

Several aerobic studios, a weight training and cardiovascular fitness area, a jogging track, a climbing wall, enclosed racquet courts and a fitness assessment center are in the facility.

The ECU Student Government Association passed a resolution 10 years ago to construct the facility with student fees. Students previously used Christenbury Gym for recreational basketball, aerobics, and swimming. That gym was built in 1951 for a student body of about 3,000. Today ECU enrolls 18,500 students.

Nance Mize, the director of Recreational Services, said it demonstrates ECU’s “commitment to the development of healthy lifestyles.”

She said she expects 2,000 to 3,000 students to use the facility daily. Memberships are also available only to faculty, staff and recent alumni.