The University of Memphis will begin construction on a new $30-million fitness center next month, the university announced Thursday.
Construction of the 74,000-square-foot Center for Wellness & Fitness, which will sit next to the newly constructed parking garage on Southern Avenue, is tentatively slated to be completed by spring 2021.
Richard Bloomer, dean of the U of M School of Health Studies, said the new space will be built with the “whole student in mind.”
“It will be just one more example of expansion on our campus to enhance student engagement and the overall user experience,” Bloomer said.
The two-story center will house “new and expanded features not previously available on our campus,” the university said in a press release. In addition to housing two basketball courts, fitness studios, strength training and cardiovascular fitness areas, and functional training areas, the center will have a nutrition kitchen, cafe, academic classrooms, and an indoor track.
Outside there will be an exercise patio, a leisure pool, sports fields, three tennis courts, and a basketball court.
The existing recreational center will remain in place and get several improvements including new roofing and revamped mechanical systems. The most significant enhancement to the current facility will be the construction of the $10-million Mike Rose Natatorium, officials said. As a part of this project, the current pool will be renovated into a deeper and longer pool, a new warm-water leisure pool will be added, and spectator seating will be expanded.
The university, in partnership with Splash Mid-South, YMCA of Memphis and the Mid-South, and the Rose Foundation, will offer aquatics programs at the natatorium to “promote water safety and enrich community health among diverse populations,” according to the press release.
This announcement comes a week after the university opened its new Hunter Harrison pedestrian bridge over Southern Avenue and adjoining parking garage and amphitheater.
Earlier this month, a building permit was filed for the university’s $35-million Scheidt Family Music Center, which is also slated to be completed by spring 2021.