KOKOMO, Ind. — The Indiana University Board of Trustees gave final approval Friday (April 13) for construction of a Wellness and Fitness Center at IU Kokomo.
Chancellor Michael Harris said the approval allows IU Kokomo to continue its forward momentum in adding degree programs and enhancing student life.
"The Wellness and Fitness Center adds a critical component that was missing from our campus, and helps build a sense of community and belonging. It also supports physical and mental health, which is key to our students' academic success," he said. " I am grateful to Thomas Morrison, IU vice president for capital projects and facilities, for his work and support for the Wellness and Fitness Center."
The center will be a renovation of unused space under the library. The 20,500 square-foot facility will house a jogging and walking track, a cardio and strength training area, two multipurpose rooms, a health studies classroom, locker rooms and a reception area.
Construction will begin in late 2012, and Harris expects it to open in July or August 2013.
He said the new center allows opportunities to offer additional allied health majors, such as sports medicine and athletic training, and provides year-round training space for the new sports teams.
He said by building the center in existing space, "we are adding a state-of-the-art facility with a responsible investment."
Penny Lee, vice chancellor for public affairs and advancement, will soon begin the public phase of a campaign to raise $2 million for the Wellness and Fitness Center.
"We are going to invite our community to support the campus in offering this outstanding center, which will benefit all students, faculty and staff," she said. "With 80 percent of our graduates staying in our region, the healthy habits they learn here will grow and benefit our economy and quality of life."
Harris expressed thanks to the Board of Trustees for approving the center.
"Offering a first-rate Wellness and Fitness Center will give us a distinct competitive advantage as we recruit the kinds of students who will grow our region's economy. IU Kokomo is a leader in promoting living a healthy lifestyle and teaching students the good habits that will remain with them for a lifetime."
For more information about the Wellness and Fitness Center and the campaign, go to http://www.iuk.edu/wellnessfitnesscenter.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.