The University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG) recently opened the doors of the Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness on their campus. The 216,000 square foot building features more than 20,000 square feet of weight and cardio space, seven basketball courts, lap and activity pools, a 54-foot climbing wall, a 4,100 square foot Spartan Terrace for outdoor activities and other wellness space and classrooms.
The Student Recreation Center (SRC) opened in 1992 and was fit for a student population of about 10,000. After years of significant student enrollment growth and usage by students, the school decided it was time to meet the growing needs of their students and create a space that could meet the demands of the increased participation rates and high-demand activities.
Jill Beville, director of recreation and wellness at UNCG, described the space in The Kaplan Center as a place the students can get connected to campus and create a healthy lifestyle that can last for years to come.
“The Kaplan Center provides numerous spaces for students to engage in active, healthy behaviors, as well as have fun, socialize and meet new people,” said Beville. “Research has shown that when students are connected to campus through recreation and wellness programs, they’re more successful both inside and outside of the classroom. The Kaplan Center provides a space for students to engage with the campus community, as well as develop lifelong wellness practices. We want to expose students to a variety of activities in order to instill in them a passion for something active that they can do throughout their lives.”
Constructing an entirely new facility, such as The Kaplan Center, can be a marketing tool on its own. People get excited at the hopes of what is to come anytime ground is broken. The plans for the new facility had been underway since May 2014, and Beville explained that the staff has been working tirelessly to promote it in different ways ever since.
“The construction of the facility itself was a great marketing tool and highly visible to the UNCG community,” said Beville. “We have also used video, photography, social media and website content to keep the campus community engaged in the project and excited for the opening. Additionally, there are display screens throughout the facility that promote upcoming events, such as group exercise classes. The initial reactions from students and other patrons have been very positive.”
Although The Kaplan Center officially opened its doors on August 1, the grand opening week—known as GOWeek—will take place later in the month. However, the dedication of the center and ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on Friday, September 16. Events like UNCG’s GOWeek can be a profitable and beneficial way to get the students using new facilities. You can use the opportunity to show off all the perks offered.
“GOWeek will feature giveaways, free daily massages and the start of group exercise classes, as well as a dive-in screening of “Finding Nemo” in the lap and activity pools and UNCG Soccer Showcase, a co-ed scrimmage featuring members of the men’s and women’s soccer teams,” described Beville.
By determining the needs of a student population and following profitable marketing strategies, buildings like The Kaplan Center at UNCG can begin popping up all over the country.