RecWell celebrates one year of promoting healthy lifestyles for Bobcats

One year ago this week, Quinnipiac's new Recreation and Wellness Center opened, revolutionizing fitness and wellness on the Mount Carmel Campus. From group fitness classes and counseling services to wellness events and a smoothie bar, countless new programs and initiatives have benefited students, faculty and staff.

The Recreation and Wellness Center is the first major completion of the “Designing our Future” master facilities plan, unveiled in January 2021, providing a comprehensive strategy and set of recommendations. Construction is well underway on the South Quad, consisting of a new residence hall and two new academic buildings. The new residence hall is set to open in August 2024. The new academic building called The SITE (for Science, Innovation, Technology and Exploration) and the new School of Business building are both set to open in 2025.

“This opening is not just about a facility, certainly a glorious facility. It also signifies the official launch of our comprehensive wellness ecosystem at Quinnipiac,” President Judy Olian said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony last year on January 27. “Our Rec and Wellness Center started with Pillar 3 of our Strategic Plan, which commits to nurturing and positively impacting community. It’s this focus on educating the whole person that is core to how we’re developing the workforce of tomorrow – graduates with both the IQ and the EQ, the life readiness to be successful professionals, and to lead fulfilling lives.”

Throughout the past year, the Recreation and Wellness Center has become a key aspect of the student experience with a variety of student services offered.

"Recwell has played a big role in enhancing my mental and physical health in many ways," said Sophie Goodrow '26. "Whether it’s using the gym, taking a spin class or using the counseling services offered, I know it will always be available to add an extra layer of support."

The thoughtfully designed facility underscores the university’s commitment to educating the whole person: body, mind and spirit. Of the new 60,000-square-foot space, 15,000 is dedicated to health and counseling, offering a full suite of counseling and healthcare services through Quinnipiac’s partnership with Hartford HealthCare. Nearly 100,000 square feet remain from the attached Athletic and Recreation Center.

"We are so excited to have expanded our wellness offerings to include programming and spaces that encompass all eight dimensions of wellness. It has been great to see Quinnipiac's students, faculty and staff come together in this new space during our first year and commit to their own personal wellness journey," said Mike Medina, director of recreation. "We are continuing to expand our outdoor trip offerings with a ski/snowboarding trip, hiking in California during spring break and a trip to an alpaca farm. In addition, we are offering our students the opportunity to be certified in mental health first aid through courses this semester."

The university's Spinning® program has grown since the new studio opened.

This semester, the university has 27 student Spinning® instructors. Additionally, there are new Pilates mat classes which are hugely popular. The small group training is new as well in the functional training area – so much more to offer than in our old location.

"Many students have found a home here in the new space," said Tami Reilly, director of fitness and well-being. "From studying, hanging out and obviously attending our programs, we have been busy. And the new facilities are so wonderful for students needed care at the health center or when they meet with the counseling team. Having a space that is dedicated to their overall wellbeing has had a positive impact on everyone’s outlook and day to day experiences."

The university is currently building up its meditation program and training more yoga instructors.

"Learning how to rest and recover is very important so we are focusing on developing those skills on our team and then out to the community," added Reilly. "Also, offering more workshops in other dimensions of well being is always on our radar. Examples are a breathing course that is a four-week series to learn how to utilize your breath to help your in every situation, financial well-being for college students workshop offered by the MBA graduate assistants and offering more cooking classes and demonstrations in the new kitchen."

Potter, Flaks, Robers, Olian and Ellett cut the ribbon during the Recreation and Wellness Center opening celebrationGroup of boys and girls smile together at rec and wellness opening.Student preparing to climb the rock wallShakesmart workers make smoothies during rec and wellness opening.Three girls smile together at rec and wellness center opening.Student plays guitar during rec and wellness center opening.

Student picks up shake at shakesmart during rec and wellness opening.Student working out at rec and wellness center gym.Students do a yoga pose on blue mats in the yoga studioA student rock climbs in RecWell.Two students help each other workout at RecWell.Students ride bikes in a spin class with pink lighting.A student uses ropes to work out in RecWell on the turf.Students cut vegetables in a cooking class at RecWell.Students line up at ShakeSmart to order food and drinks at RecWell.Students walk on the treadmills and equipment at RecWell.Groups of students walk outside RecWell.

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