SUNY Cortland

SUNY Cortland

 SUNY Cortland

Cortland, NY


The goal of the SUNY Cortland Recreational Sports Department is to provide a variety of recreational opportunities that contribute to the physical, emotional and social health of all members of our College community.  We will continuously develop programs and activities for our participants to increase their positive use of leisure time, improve their quality of life and encourage them to commit to a lifetime of fitness and recreation participation.


In order to better fulfill our mission and to significantly improve the quality of life for all students and faculty/staff, we have built a new $56 million Student Life Center at SUNY Cortland.  This new facility has a vast array of physical recreation components, as well as a variety of social recreation spaces.  These components include:

  • Climbing Wall (Vertical climbing, 42 feet high) and Bouldering Wall (Horizontal Climbing)
  • Recreational Pool (Lap swimming, resistance walk, bubble seat, open recreation area, and hot tub)
  • Multi-Activity Court (Volleyball, basketball, indoor soccer, floor hockey)
  • Suspended Jogging Track (Three lanes, one-fifth mile long)
  • Group Exercise Room (Cardio Kickboxing, Zumba, Pilates, Step Aerobics)
  • Outdoor Pursuits Center (Tripping Program, Equipment Rental Program, Cortland Bike Program, rock climbing and Adirondack Trailblazers Program)
  • Two Golf Simulator Stations (Play almost any golf course in the country)
  • Three-Court Gym (Basketball, volleyball, badminton courts)
  • Circuit/Free Weight Area (Selectorized and plate/loaded circuits, racks, dumb bells, Olympic platforms)
  • Cardio Fitness Area (Eighty machines – ellipticals, treadmills, steppers, bikes, Jacobs’s Ladders, and rowing machines)
  • Meeting Room (Workshops, student training, captains’ meetings for Intramurals, Sport Club Board meetings)
  • Large Food Service (Seats 343 and great variety of healthy options)
  • Retail (grab and go) food component (Smoothies, coffee, salads, and snacks)
  • Mind/Body Room (Yoga, meditation)
  • Men’s/Women’s Locker Rooms and Family Locker Room
  • Large Game Room (Billiards, foosball, air hockey, dome hockey, skee ball, electronic basketball, and gaming stations)
  • Spinning Room (Twenty-Six Kaiser bikes and 124-inch flat panel)
  • Combatives Room (Martial Arts)
  • Functional Fitness Room (Escape system)
  • Massage Therapy Room
  • Fitness Assessment Room
  • Athletic Training Room
  • Table tennis/demonstration room

The Student Life Center is operated on an “open recreation” concept, which means it is always available for our students’ recreational use, from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., weekdays; and from 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m., on weekends.  By providing high-quality, consistent recreational services and a place for students to “hang out” and socialize, the Student Life Center is an excellent alternative to the downtown scene.  It is also invaluable in recruiting new students and is significantly enhancing the quality of life for our students and faculty/staff.


  1. The Student Life Center has won three awards since opening on February
  • NIRSA Outstanding Sports Facility Award – April, 2016 (Hastings+Chivetta Architects).
  • Excellence in American School and University Award – Fall, 2016 (Education Interiors Showcase, Collegiate Citation for Physical Education Facilities and Recreation Centers – Recognized for Education Interior Design)
  • Gold Award in Excellence in Masonry Design and Installation – Fall 2016 (Central New York Chapter, American Concrete Institute).
  1. There have been 725,000 participations since opening on February 16, 2015.
  2. The Student Life Center has become the “center of campus.”
  3. The number one priority for the Student Life Center is Student/Informal Recreation.
  4. Total cost of the Student Life Center is $56,000,000.
  5. Total size of the Student Life Center is 148,000 sq. ft.
  6. There is over 15,000 sq. ft. of fitness space in the Student Life Center
  1. Sustainable green features in the Student Life Center include:
  • The roof houses a portion of the College’s 3,600 solar panels.
  • Above the lobby is a green roof
  • Large fans help move conditioned air throughout the space.
  • Bio swales reduce the building’s potential impact on flooding.
  • Rain gardens, two underground water retention systems and permeable pavement help manage water runoff.
  • All lights are programmable
  • Six water refilling stations are located throughout the facility
  • The facility is pending LEED Gold certification
  1. Fitness Programs in the Student Life Center include:
  • Group Exercise Program (35 classes per week)
  • Mind Body Program (10 classes per week)
  • Martial Arts Program (Muay-Thai Kickboxing and Washin-Ryu Karate)
  • Massage Therapy Program
  • Personal Training Program (Twenty-two personal trainers on staff)
  1. We have a Sport Club Program with 38 clubs and almost 1,100 participants (Includes competitive and recreational clubs).
  2. We have a comprehensive Intramural Sports Program (over 30,000 participations per year and includes leagues, one-day tournaments and special events).

All photos © Hastings+Chivetta Architects / Fentress Photography

Emily Harbourne was a previous editor for Campus Rec Magazine.

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