Heralding a major enhancement in student life on campus, the University of South Alabama will hold a dedication ceremony for its new Student Recreation Center on Thursday, Sept. 16 at 4 p.m. The public is invited to the event, which will include tours of the new facility, located at the corner of Old Shell Road and Stadium Boulevard.
Designed to enhance student life on campus and contribute to the education of the whole person, the state-of-the-art, 116,000-square-foot facility houses multi-purpose athletic courts, a cardiovascular theater, weight rooms with both machines and free weights, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a spa, saunas, racquetball courts, multi-purpose rooms for aerobic classes and martial arts, rock-climbing wall, children’s play area and dining facility featuring smoothies and other healthy refreshments. Outdoor recreation equipment also is available.
“The essence of a modern University is to help students grow in all aspects of life, with the ultimate objective of producing well-rounded individuals who are ready to meet today’s challenges and create a better world for tomorrow,” said USA President Gordon Moulton. “With the dedication of this new Student Recreation Center, USA will take a major step forward in this mission. In addition to providing superior academic programs, the University has enhanced its student recreational opportunities to an equal stature.
“This first-class facility supports and encourages good physical health, fosters teamwork, and strengthens the bonds of our campus community by providing a common point of interest and enthusiasm for our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The University thanks our students for supporting this project, our Board of Trustees for endorsing it, and our faculty and staff for providing tireless support for our most important core mission – education of the complete person.”
USA Campus Recreation Director Dr. Philip Theodore said the new center is a milestone for the University, allowing students to relax in a healthy atmosphere.
“The Student Recreation Center will do a tremendous amount to enhance student life on campus,” he said. “It’s a place where students can come together in a wholesome, positive, healthy atmosphere. They can enjoy each other’s company, exercise and relax in an environment conductive to creating lifelong friendships. The enthusiasm and energy of the students is obvious.”
USA Student Government Association President Kim Proctor said she has been enjoying using the new facility and seeing her fellow students there.
“I think it’s great for campus life,” Proctor said. “Students have somewhere new to go on campus, and it’s something we can be proud of. I’ve seen so many students there.”
The new Student Recreation Center features a 13-foot bronze sculpture symbolizing the importance of teamwork, as well as physical and spiritual health.
Bob Wilfong’s “It Takes Three” sculpture, which weighs between 2,500 and 3,000 pounds, was created at the artist’s foundry and studio in Washington state. He then drove the sculpture to Mobile for the installation in July. The sculpture plays on the ancient Greek myth of Sisyphus, who was condemned to roll a boulder up a hill unsuccessfully. Rather than the classic Sisyphian struggle, however, Wilfong’s sculpture shows that teamwork and a strong spiritual foundation can overcome any burden.
“Through partnerships with others and with our spirits, we can overcome our burdens,” he said. “It takes teamwork. You can’t accomplish things on your own. It’s an honor to have one of my pieces selected for the USA Student Recreation Center.”
This is Wilfong’s first major public art project in Mobile. Ramsey Stuart, manager of Riley-Stuart Supply Company Inc. of Mobile, donated $25,000 toward the cost of the sculpture. His gift was matched by USA.
White-Spunner Construction of Mobile was the general contractor on the $36.8 million Student Recreation Center, which was designed by WHLC Architects of Fairhope.
The new USA Student Recreation Center is located at the corner of Old Shell Road and Stadium Boulevard, across from Stanky Field. Public parking for the event is available in the Stanky Field, Mitchell Center, Mitchell College of Business and Gamma parking lots. JagTran will provide continuous shuttle service to and from the Mitchell Center and Mitchell College of Business parking lots. Handicap/disabled parking is available (with proper credentials) along Stadium Boulevard.
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