University of Alabama Opens New Rec Center

The University of Alabama opened its new student activity center last month in Tuscaloosa, AL, just in time for the fall semester.

The $32 million, 85,000-square-foot center at the campus's Presidential Village has more than 10,000 square feet of fitness space in addition to hardwood courts, personal training studios and group class areas, reported. A permanent floor with a rink can be used for indoor hockey, and the center's 40-foot rock climbing wall can accommodate up to 20 climbers. During severe weather, the center's 25,000-square-foot storm shelter can hold more than 3,000 people, according to, which includes photos and a virtual tour of the center.

The University of Alabama also has another recreation center and an aquatics center—which includes a fitness room—on campus. The Student Activity Center opened Aug. 4, two weeks before students returned to campus.

"Right out of the chute we are getting about 1,500 a day," George Brown, executive director of university recreation at Alabama, told the Associated Press.

The new center also will employ an additional 85 to 100 students, Brown told

"We believe overwhelmingly that students on the north side of campus will gravitate to this building," Brown told "We don't know how students on other parts of campus, off campus and faculty/staff will do. We'll take a really strong look at what the building did for us between now and Christmas."