Michigan State University students and leaders broke ground Thursday on the new 293,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Student Recreation and Wellness Center. The groundbreaking marks a new era of student health and well-being for the Spartan community.
The new facility, which the Board of Trustees authorized the university to begin planning for in December 2021, will make MSU a leader in national intramural facility standards. It also builds on the commitments of MSU’s 2030 Strategic Plan to support student success and sustainable health.
“Supporting the health, well-being and success of our students is at the core of what we do at MSU,” said Interim President Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D. “Student wellness is centered around eight dimensions: intellectual, emotional, environmental, financial, occupational, spiritual, social and physical. This new, world-class recreational facility promotes so many of these dimensions of wellness, especially physical wellness and the importance of movement, flexibility, strength, aerobic and cardiovascular health.”
The center will be located in the northern portion of the former Cherry Lane site by Shaw Lane and Birch, Harrison and Wilson roads in the north mixed-use district.
With an eye toward the future of health and wellness, the new center includes several gymnasiums; a turf arena; an indoor running track; strength and fitness studios; two university classrooms; locker and toilet rooms to meet gender-inclusive needs; a pool and other fitness and recreation amenities.
“We are excited to see the new Student Recreation and Wellness Center become another addition to our beautiful campus,” said Board Chair Rema Vassar, Ph.D. “Providing our students with the facilities and resources to stay active and healthy while fostering a sense of belonging is paramount to their success.”
A new recreational facility has received broad support from undergraduate student leaders and the student body in recent years.
“For all Spartans, this new rec center will be crucial in aiding their journeys with their physical and mental health,” said Emily Hoyumpa, president of the Associated Students of Michigan State University. “Students will have a new and improved space to put themselves first, while also connecting with others in the process. I am excited to see the progress made in the coming year and look forward to the completed product.”
MSU’s Council of Graduate Students echoes that sentiment — noting the new facility will deliver on the fitness and recreational needs of all students at Michigan State.
“The Recreation and Wellness Center is a testament to MSU’s commitment to improving the physical and, by extension, mental well-being of its future graduate and professional students,” said Hannah Jeffery, president of the Council of Graduate Students.
Approximately 5,500 students, on average, use MSU’s three recreational sports and fitness facilities per day. MSU projects the Student Recreation and Wellness Center alone to accommodate 5,000 to 6,000 students per day.
“The Student Recreation and Wellness Center is an investment in our students’ state of fitness and well-being for long into the future,” said Vennie Gore, senior vice president for Student Life and Engagement. “We are grateful for all our partners who are helping create a space that will support our students and our university community.”
The new facility is expected to be complete and ready for use in the fall of 2026.