The new Student Recreation and Wellness Center—a 125,000-square-foot, two-story, state-of-the-art recreation facility located on the east side of the California State University, Long Beach campus—was the focus of great fanfare at the center’s official grand-opening ceremony on September 20. The celebration featured celebrity fitness expert and CSULB alumna Denise Austin and remarks from CSULB President F. King Alexander and Associated Students, Inc., President James Ahumada. Activities included building tours, volleyball and basketball competitions, swim clinics, open rock wall climbing, fitness classes, live music by Incendio, refreshments by Fresh Foods Café and the opportunity to participate in a week-long scavenger hunt.
Master of Ceremonies Dave Edwards, ASI associate executive director and director of the University Student Union, reflected on the 10 years the center was in the making. Edwards noted that after extensive architectural and financial planning and an educational campaign, a referendum for the facility was put before the CSULB student body in February 2007. Students resoundingly approved the referendum by 74.7 percent of the votes cast.
After breaking ground in January 2009 and a “topping off” ceremony in June of that same year, the center quickly took shape under the watchful eye of Mark Zakhour, senior construction manager for the university’s Physical Planning and Construction Management unit. The building was finished and ready to open its doors a month before the original target completion date of September 2010.
The SRWC is CSULB's first building to be certified “gold” by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building certification system. The eco-friendly, state-of-the-art building features many technological advances, including biometric hand scanners for entry, filtered water fountains, digital bulletin boards, LCD touch screens, digital lockers, adjustable lighting, hydration stations and waterless urinals. Even the land under the foundation includes crushed asphalt from Parking Lot 11, the site of the center.
The Student Recreation and Wellness Center is CSULB’s newest employer. More than 180 undergraduate and graduate students were hired and trained prior to the grand opening.
The center is a busy hub of recreation, intramural sports, fitness activities and wellness services—to date, an average of 4,000 individuals use the facility each day. Outdoors, the facility features a swimming pool, lap pool, 25-person spa and courtyard area for programming. The facility's interior features a four-court gym, indoor jogging track, racquetball courts, group fitness rooms, 27-foot rock climbing wall, wellness center and 20,000 square feet of weight and cardio equipment—the most in Southern California, according to a 2007 assessment. The equipment area also boasts 16 large plasma television screens where guests may access 16 different programs or use the screens for one large program.
Fresh Foods Café Express. An eatery that features healthy, convenient and economical food for the CSULB community, Fresh Food Café's menu includes breakfast items, soups, salads, wraps, sandwiches, baked goods, espresso drinks and smoothies. The café also roasts fresh beans daily and features an organic coffee bar.
Fitness Programs. A variety of non-credit fitness classes allows members to develop and expand skills related to the latest group fitness trends. Classes are offered at a variety of times and provide workouts for novice and experienced individuals. Classes include yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, self defense, ab burner, butts and guts, hip hop cardio, Zumba, boot camp, pump and sculpt, cardio crunch, spinning and more. All classes adhere to the rudiments of proper technique and choreography and are taught by qualified instructors; there is a nominal fee for some classes.
Personal Training. Members who are new to working out, looking for extra motivation or seeking assistance with personal training goals may hire a certified personal trainer. Personal training is a fee-based program.
Open Recreation. The open recreation program allows students access to SRWC facilities, such as the multi-activity courts, group fitness rooms, the pool and sand volleyball courts, during specified hours. Participants also may check out the equipment needed for these activities.
Aquatics. The center features an outdoor swimming pool with designated lap swimming lanes, a recreational swimming area, outdoor lounging area and 25-person spa. The pool also is utilized for scheduled swim lessons, aqua group fitness classes and other special activities during specified hours.
Adaptive Recreation. The SRWC is in the process of developing programs for wheelchair court sports and swimming pool activities. Activities that may be offered include accessible aquatics classes, wheelchair basketball, rugby, capture the flag, lacrosse and power soccer for the disabled and able bodied.
Beach Balance. Beach Balance is a partnership with Student Health Services, Disabled Student Services and Counseling and Psychological Services. Offerings promote personal well-being from a holistic approach by empowering members to make healthy lifestyle choices. Beach Balance offers nutritional and healthy eating counseling, stress management, biofeedback and overall health education. Workshop topics include sexual health, alcohol and drug use, men's health and various other health-related subjects. Relaxation workouts, biofeedback and web-based health assessments also are available.
Outdoor Adventures. An exciting program at the center is the fee-based outdoor adventure trips that feature such outdoor activities as rock climbing, snowboarding, hiking and kayaking. These trips will include experienced leaders, transportation, equipment and food. Rental of outdoor climbing equipment and beachcomber bikes and helmets also is available.
The clear highlight of the grand opening celebration was hearing from Austin, an alumna from CSULB’s class of ’79, who graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in physical education with an emphasis in exercise physiology. Austin acquired her enthusiasm for fitness while a student at CSULB, and went on to sell more than 20 million exercise videos and DVDs, author more than 10 books on fitness, star in the longest running fitness show in the history of television and serve as a member of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. About the center, Austin said, “I want students to come here every day and have a great workout. Students should take care of their bodies—not just to look good, but to feel good physically, mentally and emotionally.”
The currently enrolled CSULB students are eligible to use SRWC facilities, as their membership fees are included in the University Student Union fee paid at the time of registration. Paid memberships also are available to currently employed CSULB faculty, staff and auxiliaries' staff, alumni and students who are on educational leave for a single academic term. Others who qualify for paid memberships include siblings, parents, adult children 18 or older, spouses or domestic partners of CSULB employees, alumni and currently enrolled students. Information on membership fees may be found at http://www.asirecreation.org/
The SRWC is managed by the Associated Students, Inc. and is open to all CSULB students, associates and affiliates. For hours, membership and other information, call (562) 985-0775 or go to http://www.asirecreation.org/