Amid Construction, Pres. Mills Envisions New Fitness, Health and Wellness Center

Story posted August 15, 2008

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The west wall of Morrell Gym has been torn down, exposing the former squash courts on the second floor.































Demolition crews are tearing down parts of Morrell Gym to clear the way for the massive addition that will be the new Fitness, Health and Wellness Center.

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President Mills talks about the project.

Click here to watch the interview.

Workers have torn out what was once the lobby area, athletic department offices and the squash courts above to make way for the addition.

Standing near the Polar Bear statue, President Mills noted that the removal of part of the Morrell complex affords a view of Druckenmiller Hall that was previously unseen — and that Druckenmiller's façade is akin to the glass sheathing of the Fitness, Health and Wellness Center.

"It gives you a sense of what it's going to look like," says Mills. "That's pretty exciting."

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A skid steer loader takes out the series of double doors at Morrell Gym's north entrance, then begins the work of demolishing the overhang.

Construction of the $14.75 million project got underway in June 2008.

The new Fitness, Health and Wellness Center is expected to be complete in August 2009.

Plans call for a four-level, 44,659 square feet addition to the Morrell Gym complex that will dedicate a shared facility to benefit mind, body and spirit practices by housing exercise rooms along with centers for health and wellness.

Consistent with the College's ongoing sustainability efforts, the project will seek LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficient Design) certification.

Read more about the Fitness, Health and Wellness Center project here.

Construction Notes

Construction of the Fitness, Health and Wellness Center is accompanied by some detours for pedestrians and other temporary changes in the immediate area.

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Evening rendering of west side of the new Fitness, Health and Wellness Center.

Morrell Gym is closed during the summer of 2008, but will reopen in September and function throughout the academic year, hosting basketball and volleyball games and other programs. A temporary entrance will be constructed on the east side of the building toward the parking lot and Dayton Arena.

During this demolition and steel construction phase, the walkway between Morrell and Druckenmiller Hall is closed. A path through fencing in that area will be open for the beginning of the fall semester in September 2008.

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Aerial view of Morrell Gym complex and surrounding buildings. White rectangles indicate new lobby and Fitness, Health and Wellness Center; grey represents entrance canopies and connector to Sargent Gym; blue shading indicates soon-to-be-former footprint; the area impacted by the project is shaded in yellow.

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