WPI Sports and Recreation Center Breaks Ground

Construction on WPI’s new Sports and Recreation Center kicked off in a most fitting way: with the help of a student-built robot. Alongside university dignitaries, Moonraker 2.0—the NASA Excavation Regolith Challenge winner (a $500,000 prize) built by Paul Ventimiglia and teammates—was one of the first to dig in, so to speak, at the ceremonial Groundbreaking on May 14. Moonraker 2.0 was assisted by President Dennis Berkey, James Carr ’74, WPI Board Chairman Donald Peterson '71, and Trustees Stuart Kazin '61 and Judith Nitsch '75. The Center, which will be built into the hillside at the west end of the Quadrangle, next to Harrington Auditorium, is scheduled to open in August 2012.

"The Sports and Recreation Center is an exciting and much needed addition to the WPI campus," Berkey said. "We are not just building another gym. We are building a place for our community to come together—for competition, for camaraderie, for celebration."

Just days before the groundbreaking, the George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Foundation made a $1 million gift to support the new center, which will make possible a striking glass-enclosed, light-filled main entrance for the building, to be known as the George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Atrium.

 

The 145,000-square-foot facility will boast 14,000 square feet of fitness space, a four-court gymnasium, a competition-length swimming pool, a three-lane elevated jogging track, racquetball and squash courts, rowing tanks, and workout studios. The center will provide attractive space for large-scale events, such as admissions open houses, career fairs, national academic conferences, and alumni events. There will also be space dedicated to WPI's robotics program, enabling the university to support regional and national robotics competitions.

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Last modified: July 12, 2010 09:21:30