Quinnipiac to begin construction on new health and wellness center

Emily Flamme, News Editor

Quinnipiac University will start constructing a new health and wellness center in the coming months after it got approval from the Hamden Planning and Zoning Department on Feb. 23.

The health and wellness center is an addition to the current recreation center and is part of the university’s 10-year master facilities plan. It will include the health center, clinical facilities, a counseling center for mental health and a place for recreation.

The new health and wellness center that will be completed by fall 2022 is going to be focused on alternate ways to be healthy. (QU Facilities)

There is no plan to renovate the current recreation center. However, construction will be done to create a seamless transition between the new health and wellness center and the existing building.

Vice President for Facilities and Capital Planning Sal Filardi said the locker rooms will be redone. The weight room will be converted into a space for “varsity sports,” so the athletic teams don’t have to compete with the general student body for the equipment.

The new center will also include a climbing wall, which Tami Reilly, director of fitness and well being, said will be there to provide an alternate way to exercise.

“It’s super exciting because it’ll grow the rec team and what they’re able to offer,” Reilly said. “I think we’re just trying to broaden the scope of how we move and look at other ways to get people to be involved in the space that maybe they normally wouldn’t walk into our current gym.”

Reilly said that her team is also looking into setting up a personal training program for students. As a result, the jobs available for students on campus will increase.

“How can we now pull on some of our students that are interested in being personal trainers?” Reilly said. “Maybe even as we’re talking about the academic piece, a lot of our athletic trainers are already going through that course, so getting them involved.”

The plan for the new center comes because Reilly said she wanted to find a way to create a space for students to have all their health needs in one place.

“The world of fitness has grown, and we do look more at wellness,” Reilly said. 

There will be outdoor spaces available for activities such as meditation and fitness classes. The area will be where the current tennis courts are now, which will be removed on April 16, in the construction process. However, they will be rebuilt north of the rugby fields for the fall 2021 semester.

Filardi has said that despite the construction beginning soon, the team hopes to have as little disruptions to the student body as possible.

“Because there are some points when (construction is) connected to the building, we may have some disruption where we may have to temporarily move some of the program that’s happening now for three to six months, in order to get a certain amount of work done,” Filardi said.

Since COVID-19 testing takes place in the recreation center, the set up will be modified once the walls of the building are being reconstructed.

The timeline for the plan was pushed back a year due to the pandemic, but Reilly said that COVID-19 has also had a positive effect on planning.

“COVID has strengthened the technology piece like ‘Should we have a video camera in a studio,’” Reilly said. “We’ve learned so much about how to use the technology and to capture video and how we want to use it for our consumers.”