The wait is finally over. The new Markin Family Student Recreation Center is officially open for business.
“I had been anticipating its opening for a while,” freshman retail merchandising major Morgan Liphart said. “Hopefully it will be worth the wait.”
The new facility takes up 130,000 square feet and includes a climbing wall, racquetball courts, swimming pool and more.
The cost for the new facility is $28 million.
“It is hard to put into words what this means for Bradley,” Director of Intramural and Recreational Sports Michael Keup said. “It’s bigger, it’s better and it’s more modern.”
Freshman AEP major Joe Wagner said he thinks the facility will be used frequently.
“A lot of people are not going to be outside because of the cold so they will exercise a lot,” he said.
Keup said he hopes the facility will attract 1,000 people a day. The upper level contains an indoor track overlooking the four basketball courts on the ground level and a variety of cardio and weight training equipment.
“I am looking forward to the cardio room because they will have a lot more machines, new machines, that are really nice compared to the ones in Heitz [Hall],” Liphart said.
There are 50 cardio pieces on the upper level of the Markin Center alone, compared to 13 in Heitz. Entrance to the general building, including the cardio area, will be free for students with Bradley IDs.
Special fitness classes such as step classes and high and low cardio classes will be offered throughout the semester. A semester pass for these classes will cost $35.
In addition to providing students new means of recreation, the Markin Center will also bring more jobs to campus.
“About 140 student employees will help run this facility,” Keup said.
The basement of the Markin Center also offers an educational opportunity for students. Much of the basement is dedicated to nursing. Complete with top-of-the-line mannequins that can mimic signs of life and react to nursing students’ actions, Keup said he thinks these new assets will accelerate Bradley’s nursing program.
“This is high-end nursing equipment that magnifies our ability to provide a learning experience for students,” he said. “We believe it will attract more students.”
The Wellness Center will also be located in the basement and the Health Center will be on the first floor. The six-lane pool, which is 25 yards long and 8-feet-6-inches deep in the deep end, has a large glass wall that allows the light to illuminate the water.
“I am looking forward to the pool most because it looks really good from the outside,” freshman mechanical engineering major Andy Puhr said.
“The pool is one of the areas that the architects really hit a homerun,” Keup said.
David Markin, who donated millions of dollars to make the Markin Center possible, was honored at the opening ceremony on Thursday.
“A university could not be more proud of an alumni,” University President Joanne Glasser said.
With the opening of the Markin Center, Haussler Hall is only available for student-athletes to practice and meet.
The Markin Center will be open from 6 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and from 9 a.m. to midnight on Sunday.