Rec Center anticipated to close at end of semester for construction of new Wellness + Recreation facility

Interim spaces on campus for indoor recreation, fitness and club sports are currently being prepared in anticipation of the Helfaer Tennis Stadium and Recreation Center (Rec Center) coming offline at the end of the fall 2022 semester.

Contingent on funding, and pending the board of trustees’ approval in December, the building is scheduled to close at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, to accommodate renovations and construction for the reimagined, comprehensive Wellness + Recreation facility that will bring together the campus’ fitness and recreation facilities with the Counseling Center and the Marquette University Medical Clinic — student-centric services currently dispersed across campus.

During construction, which is expected to be complete by the end of 2024, Marquette will relocate the Rec Center’s current equipment and programming to select spaces at the Rec Plex and in Straz Tower, O’Donnell Hall, the Old Gym, and the Annex. These interim locations will be open and operational by the start of the spring semester, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, to ensure continuous, uninterrupted recreation and fitness services.

Following are the planned equipment, amenities and programming at each location:

  • Rec Plex
    • 915 W. Wisconsin Ave.
    • All currently available equipment and amenities, including steam room, sauna and whirlpool, at the Rec Plex will remain available throughout the construction and renovation project.
  • Straz Tower
    • 915 W. Wisconsin Ave.
    • Space formerly occupied by the offices of Finance and Human Resources are being renovated to provide additional rec and fitness space featuring cardio and weight training equipment.
    • The Rec Center’s full-time staff will also move into new offices in this space.
  • O’Donnell Hall
    • 725 N. 18th St.
    • The lobby and lower level of O’Donnell Hall will be known as Fitness Center West.
    • This fully renovated space will feature cardio and weight training equipment, a spin room, and a group exercise area.
    • Full-time recreation staff will have office space in this area.
  • Old Gym
    • 1532 W. Clybourn St.
    • The Old Gym will be used primarily for open play, intramural and club basketball.
  • The Annex
    • 1532 W. Wells St.
    • Gymnasium space at the Annex will be used for group exercise classes, intramurals and open play.

Restrooms are available at all locations; showers and lockers are only at the Rec Plex location.

A campus map is available online.

Additionally, the university has arranged to use the gymnasium at nearby Cristo Rey Jesuit High School (1818 W. National Ave.) for club sport practices, particularly men’s and women’s club basketball and club volleyball. The Valley Fields dome (1818 W. Canal St.) will also be available to accommodate some club sport needs.

Dr. Xavier Cole, vice president for student affairs, says the planning team is taking great care to provide interim accommodations that address student needs and meet quality expectations.

“The Wellness + Recreation facility project is of vital importance to building what President Lovell envisions as a true ‘culture of wellness’ at Marquette, and this is indeed an exciting, game-changing opportunity to improve the student experience for generations to come,” he says. “At the same time, we recognize that for many of our current students, this transition period presents a noticeable shift in recreation services. So, it is the planning team’s goal to ensure that interim spaces and accommodations offer a high quality experience.”

In addition to providing these interim spaces, the university is working to ensure proper staffing, access, and safety and security at these locations.

Please watch Marquette Today for updates.