University of Wyoming Historic Update

university of Wyoming


The expansion and renovation of the University of Wyoming Half Acre Gym.

Design Company

Tobin and Associates in Cheyenne, WY and Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative in Denver, CO.


“Our goal was to offer something for everyone. We definitely anticipate that we will draw more students, faculty and staff to this outstanding new facility.”

Students at the University of Wyoming expressed the desire for a state-of-the-art recreation and wellness center. According to Patrick Moran, the director of campus recreation, students were the driving force behind the project. “Half Acre Gym is a beautiful, historic building, which was built in the 1920s,” said Moran. “The gym has incredible character, however due to the age and historic nature of the facility, there was a lack of accessibility, issues with heating, ventilation and cooling, as well as a need for many other updates.”

In addition to much improved accessibility throughout the facility, Moran explained there are numerous other exciting improvements, including a significant increase in cardiovascular exercise and weight training areas, updated and expanded group fitness rooms, new locker rooms, a heated spa, a multi-activity court and a 38-foot climbing wall pinnacle, along with a separate bouldering area. “We also added a Wellness Center designed to provide the UW campus the opportunity to integrate multiple aspects of holistic wellness under one roof,” added Moran.

Since the project was executed throughout the school year, Moran said the biggest challenge was remaining open and offering services during the construction process. “The project was completed in two phases, which meant a lot of creative planning, temporary relocation for some programs, moving equipment and offices, etc.” he said. “Trying to offer quality programs during this time was challenging, but we successfully reconfigured our facility and worked with our departments on campus to find adequate space to continue these programs.”

Before jumping into the renovation or expansion project, timing is key. Ensure you are ready for such an undertaking. “It is very important to have the right finances, personnel and student support in place when you begin a project of this nature.”

Moran’s final words of wisdom: remain patient and flexible.

Emily Harbourne was a previous editor for Campus Rec Magazine.

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