Renovated Recreation and Wellness Center to fully open in November


Peter Gallay/Quinnipiac University

The construction on Quinnipiac University’s Recreation and Wellness Center was delayed by supply chain issues, Vice President for Facilities and Capital Planning Sal Filardi said.

Krystal Miller, Associate News Editor

The renovation of Quinnipiac University’s Recreation and Wellness Center will be complete by early November, three months later than originally planned, Vice President for Facilities and Capital Planning Sal Filardi told The Chronicle. Filardi said the project was initially planned to be completed by the start of the fall 2022 semester in August but was delayed due to supply chain issues.

The remaining unfinished work includes additional construction and the acquisition of a certificate of occupancy from the Town of Hamden, Filardi said. Currently, the health clinic and counseling areas are fully completed and began seeing students on Aug. 24. Workout equipment is also open for students to use in the weight room.

Filardi said a delay in receiving electrical switchgear pushed back construction by six months.

“We ordered equipment that we were expecting in July of 2021 so we could install it in the summer and then start the whole building,” Filardi said. “That equipment didn’t arrive until the last week of December (2021), so we didn’t get to install it into the first week of January.”

The recreation area is also expanding, with new equipment and the addition of a rock climbing wall. There will also be new dance, yoga, spinning and aerobics studios. The south region of the building will have a grass area with an amphitheater and firepit, Filardi said.

“Now both the health clinic, the counseling center, and the recreation areas are all under the same roof,” Filardi said. “It’s physical health, mental health, healthy lifestyle living because it’s all right there, so it can be a more comprehensive experience for students.”

Tami Reilly, director of fitness and well-being, said the new center will give staff the ability to hold more programs. She said there will be a dedicated space for meditation and yoga.

“So yes, it will be more, but in a great way, like we’re excited to have more opportunities for programming for students when it comes to this idea,” Reilly said.

There will be an addition of an outside recreation area, which will allow for activities such as kayak rentals or hiking. Reilly said these different types of fitness are self-care that students can discover to help their mental well being.

“We’re all so different, so I think it’s going to open up more opportunities for students to explore the ways that they will best take care of themselves,” Reilly said.

The university was also intentional about the center being Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certified, Reilly said. Quinnipiac’s website says that the building will have rain gardens and living walls, which consist of plants. Filardi said the university will be applying for the certification at the end of construction.

“I just think it has so much more to offer as far as the lighting and the intentionality of the greenery and including the outdoor environment on the inside,” Reilly said.

When the space opens completley, Reilly said she hopes that the center will allow students to connect, even if they do not want to take a class or go to the gym.

“I’m hoping that this space allows students to find other ways to meet their wellness needs and that they’re not intimidated or turned off by coming because it’s so much more than just a fitness center,” Reilly said.

Some students are questioning the date of the center’s opening with the current state of the building.

Instagram account @qubarstool posted a video on Sept. 5 showing water leaking from the building’s ceiling, being collected in trash bins with the caption, “Didn’t know the rec center included a pool.” The video included a text overlay that said “New Rec Center looking ‘ready by fall of 2022.’”

Filardi said the leak happened at the “intersection of the new building and the old building where the exterior glass walls are not yet complete.” He said that additional tarps were used to clean up the water, without causing damage to the building.

Although there has been a delay in the progress of construction, students said they are still excited to use the new features of the facility.

Thomas Scheno, a sophomore biomedical science major, said he will be using the center once it’s finished. He said he is most excited about taking advantage of the new gym equipment.

“It looks very nice from the outside, I haven’t really been in there much, but it does look very nice in there,” Scheno said. “It looks very big, I know there is going to be a smoothie place in there and stuff so that will be cool.”

Ashley Brennan, a junior health sciences major in the 4+1 master of arts in teaching program, thinks that having a space for mental and physical health together is a great idea.

“I really like how they’re doing that juice bar, and I really like the counseling services that they’re going to have, because I feel like they didn’t really have that stuff in the Wellness Center before,” Brennan said.

Brennan said students will be more motivated to use the center with it being aesthetically pleasing and having all new equipment.

“People are definitely gonna go there with their friends and workout and have a good time,” Brennan said.