Saint Leo University is addressing the need for more recreational space with the construction of the brand-new Wellness Center.
Previously, many health, recreation and spiritual student support services were spread out across the university. With the addition of the new Wellness Center, slated to open fall 2021, these services will be brought together in one space.
A continuing trend in campus recreation, the term wellness played a key part in not only the name of the facility, but the intention behind it.
“As a Benedictine Catholic university, we believe it is important to help our students grow, not just intellectually but also in body and spirit,” said Jeffrey Senese, the president of Saint Leo University. “The Wellness Center is a fitting name for this new space because it reflects the university’s commitment to helping students grow in all areas. Essentially, the center will serve as another physical representation of our mission, helping students grow in mind, body and spirit.”
Senese elaborated on the importance of wellness, stating it is about more than just being physically active. “We want our students to be mentally and spiritually healthy, too,” he said. “We know students do their best work in the classroom when they also are both physically and mentally healthy. Our goal is to help students become well-rounded individuals who can make a positive difference in our world.”
One of the most impressive amenities of the Wellness Center will be a resort-style pool with two lap lanes and a shallow area for lounging, offering a 180-degree view of Lake Jovita on campus. The pool area will include plenty of seating, a large gas grill, fire pit, a café that serves healthy options, and a relaxation terrace and garden. Once complete, the pool will be the largest infinity-edge pool at any university or college in Florida.
With 59,000 square feet, other amenities include a fitness area with cardio equipment, free weights and machines, a dance and yoga studio, a cycling center, a large multipurpose gym, two indoor basketball courts, and several multipurpose rooms that can be used for specialty classes, meditation and gaming.
“The Wellness Center will offer a variety of new opportunities for students to engage in recreation events, and host meetings and special events,” said Melanie Storms, the senior vice president at Saint Leo. “There will be space for group exercise, spinning, yoga classes and a large community fitness center. We expect it to be the new social hub on campus and overall help to enhance our student living and learning experience.”