The University of South Alabama will hold free, public groundbreaking ceremonies for its new Student Recreation Center at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 23 at the corner of Old Shell Road and Stadium Boulevard, across from Stanky Field.
The event is free and open to the public.
The first 500 people at the ceremony will receive free USA Football T-shirts. Also, USA Head Football Coach Joey Jones will attend and autograph free photos. After the groundbreaking, a free dinner of hot dogs, popcorn, peanuts and drinks will be provided.
“As our society becomes more health conscious, it is important for our students to strengthen both their minds and their bodies. The creation of this Student Recreation Center demonstrates the University’s commitment to the development of the whole person,” USA President Gordon Moulton said. “It will also enable the University to continue to attract today's best students."
The state-of-the-art, 116,000-square-foot center will include aerobic rooms, weight rooms, spinning rooms, basketball and racquetball courts, an indoor track, indoor and outdoor pools, saunas and a rock-climbing wall. Wellness evaluations and baby-sitting services will be offered. An adjacent outdoor recreation center will loan students camping equipment and canoes.
USA officials anticipate the new center on the corner of Old Shell Road and Stadium Boulevard will be completed in late 2009 or early 2010. It is expected to cost approximately $30 million.
USA Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. John Smith said, “The new Student Recreation Center will be one of the finest facilities of its kind in the country. As it offers a fitness and social center for our students, it will enhance our student life for years to come.”
USA Student Government Association President Jennifer Edwards said of the project, “Every student we talk to about the new Student Rec Center is excited about it. It will be a really great addition to campus."
After the groundbreaking ceremony and dinner, the USA Jaguar baseball team plays the University of Alabama at 6 p.m. The first 500 people at the baseball game wearing a USA logo will receive a USA Football T-shirt. Coach Jones will throw out the first pitch.
After the game, fireworks will be presented.
Baseball tickets are available for purchase at the gate or through the USA Ticket Office at the Mitchell Center, (251) 460-6047. The Mitchell Center Ticket Office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.