UNK breaks ground for Wellness Center, new entryway

Contact: Kelly Bartling, communications and community relations, 308-865-8455, bartlingkh@unk.edu

Editors: More drawings and details are available at http://www.unk.edu/offices/facilities/planning/Future/Wellness_Center/ and http://www.unk.edu/offices/facilities/planning/Future/Randall/Mantor_Hall_Entry/

Kearney, Neb., April 30, 2013 – University of Nebraska at Kearney celebrated today the beginning of two construction projects that will improve student life as well as scholarship and research on campus.

Wellness Center

The Wellness Center is a new 19,000-square-foot facility ready for construction east of Cushing Coliseum. The center includes program and research space for UNK’s nationally known Exercise Science education and research program, in addition to a large new fitness center for students.

Students enjoy and want the best recreation and exercise facilities available. Right now these are rather limited in Cushing Fieldhouse. This new facility gives them nearly 10,000 more square feet in space for machines, weights, exercise and fitness classes, and group activities.

In addition to facilities for fitness activities for students, the new UNK Wellness Center will include programming for UNK employee health and wellness, community outreach, and public health research at UNK’s Physical Activity and Wellness Lab. The Physical Activity and Wellness Lab, currently called the Human Performance Lab, conducts research and promotes physical activity in greater Nebraska through school- and community-based programs in health promotion and obesity prevention and treatment. Recent programs include Building Healthy Families, Healthy Families School, Nebraska BMI Screening and Reporting System, Nebraska Kids Fitness and Nutrition Day, and UNKids, a study with the American Heart Association that is following 180 children annually.

The project will also include the renovation of some 4,000 net square feet of student recreation and classroom space in Cushing. The project is partially funded by donations through the University of Nebraska Foundation, and student fees, authorized through a student vote in 2005. The project will be complete in May 2014 and will cost $6.5 million.

Beyond the campus community, the Wellness Center will augment a variety of programs supported by community partners including Good Samaritan Hospital and Buffalo County Community Partners, through community promotions like Activate Buffalo County, PATH (Kearney Public Schools), and Walk Out on Your Job.

Randall/Mantor Hall entryway

The new entrance to renovated Randall and Mantor Halls will provide students a public lobby, control desk, mailboxes and elevator access. The project also improves heating and cooling equipment, replaces entry doors and develops an accessible entry. Mantor was renovated in 2009 and Randall in 2011. This project costs $1.3 million and will be complete by January 2014.