Macalester’s Leonard Center
combines athletics, wellness
Macalester will dedicate its new Leonard Center on Saturday, capping construction of a facility that includes a natatorium, field house and gymnasium.
The center also is home to Macalester’s health and wellness services and athletics department.
“Athletics and recreation facilities are one of the points on campus that define the sort of community a college wants to be,” said Macalester President Brian Rosenberg. “And the Leonard Center, like Macalester, is exceptional.”
The 175,000-square-foot facility’s field house includes a 200-meter track, and its gymnasium will seat 1,200 spectators. The natatorium also includes an off-deck viewing area.
There also is a fitness area, two racquetball courts and two multipurpose studios, in addition to the health and wellness component, which includes a wellness lab and offers health counseling and programming designed to promote healthy lifestyles.
“One of the most exciting aspects of this project is the integration of health services, wellness and health promotion opportunities,” said Kim Chandler, the school’s athletics director. “The new facility will be a significant opportunity to serve a broader campus community.”
The school believes that more than two-thirds of its student body works out at least twice a week and reports that about 20 percent of students participate in one of the college’s 21 varsity sports.
The new center replaces an 80-year-old gymnasium and 50-year-old field house.
The old structures are being converted for the most part to new uses. For example, the school’s 50-year-old field house was moved to another location to serve as a horse stable.
Officials say the new center offers opportunities for new programming and events.
“We don’t just think of this as a space for athletics,” said Laurie Hamre, Macalester vice president of student affairs. “We think of it as a community center. We want it to be welcoming to everyone.”
The dedication ceremony will include the installation of a time capsule and date stone in the center’s exterior wall.
© 2010 The National Collegiate Athletic Association