In 1957 the Purdue University Recreational Gymnasium or ‘Co-Rec’ opened at a cost of 2.5 million. The 145,700 sq. ft. facility dedicated solely to college students’ recreation needs was the first of its kind in the country. Features of the facility included: archery range, rifle range, bocce ball, weightlifting, five handball courts, 11 squash courts, 25 yard swimming pool, activity rooms for table tennis, fencing, and square dance and six gymnasium courts. One of the courts was regularly used for roller-skating. In 1979 the first known organized fitness programs began. In 1981 the Recreational Gymnasium addition opened at a cost of 4.5 million. The addition included a six-court gymnasium, 16 air conditioned racquetball courts and an updated entrance with access control. In 2001 the Boilermaker Aquatic Center opened. The 79,282 sq. ft. facility houses a 50-meter pool, a dive well, and a spa. The L. Tony Hawkins Low Team Challenge Course opened in Purdue’s Horticulture Park. The majority of the CoRec basement was renovated and the 17,000 sq. ft. Colby Fitness Center was opened in 2002.
In 2006, Purdue University began the process of renovating and expanding the CoRec. The new CoRec, officially named the France A. Córdova Recreational Sports Center, opened in October. The total project cost was approximately $98 million. The 453,000 sq. ft. facility offers 44,000 sq. ft. of fitness space, climbing and bouldering walls, a recreation pool, a wellness suite with massage therapy and demonstration kitchen, 13 gymnasium courts and 7 multipurpose rooms. The Turf Recreation Exercise Center (TREC), an indoor artificial turf field measuring 60 yd. x 40 yd. opened in February 2013.
The Purdue University Division of Recreational Sports is committed to enhance the quality of life on campus. We provide intentional recreation and co-curricular experiences for our student employees and participants that promote lifelong learning and an appreciation for a healthy lifestyle. The vision of the Division Recreational Sports is to positively impact the quality of life of every member of the university community; offering programs, services, and facilities of the highest quality. Perhaps the most exciting impact is research showing that during our first year of operation students who used the CoRec 3 time a week or more achieved a GPA that is .30 higher than the university average.
Purdue University students have access to a wide variety of programing options including programing for certifications, challenge education, climbing, club sports, fitness, intramural sports, swimming programs, special events, wellness, and youth and family. Thousands of students are participating in the CoRec’s programs and they are learning and developing valuable skills as participants and staff.