Photo feature: Recreation & Wellness Center officially opens

_ID22566More than 150 UCCS faculty and staff were joined by CU dignitaries and leaders of area construction firms Feb. 29 in opening an expanded Recreation and Wellness Center.

The 47,000 square foot $16.3 million addition expands campus recreation and incorporates Student Health Center and University Counseling into an integrated student wellness complex.

“Data from National College Health Assessment finds that 15 to 30 percent of all college students’ academics are adversely affected by physical and mental health concerns,” Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalaback said. “In a traditional model, these concerns may be addressed in isolation.”

Using her own winter cold as an example, Shockley-Zalabak explained that in an integrated model health care providers work together to provide services.

“Is this just a simple cold or is this the result of stress, exhaustion or poor nutrition?” Shockley-Zalabak asked. “Instead of walking away with a decongestant, a student may also receive information about yoga for stress reduction, consultation with a dietician and a voucher for a session with a personal trainer. Our teams have an ethic of care and are interested in the whole person.”

_ID17682Shockley-Zalabak was joined by student government leaders — who advocated for increased student fees to pay for the expansion — as well as CU Regent Sue Sharkey in foregoing the traditional ribbon cutting for a race to the finish line celebration of the building’s opening. Shockley-Zalabak and Sharkey were joined by Travis Trafoya, student government; Susan Szpyrka, senior vice chancellor, Administration and Finance; Gary Reynolds, assistant vice chancellor, Administration and Finance; Jeff Davis, executive director, Auxiliary Services Operations; Tamara Moore, executive director, Auxiliary Services Operations; Carolyn Fox, executive director, Planning Construction and Design Office; Charles Cummings, design and construction manager, Planning Construction and Design Office; Stephanie Hanenberg, executive director, Wellness Center; Benek Altayli, director, Wellness Center; Skyler Rorabaugh, director, Recreation Center; Matt Gaden, associate director, Recreation Center; Annette Biggs, associate director, Recreation Center; Katie Barnes, project manager, Barker Rinker Seacat Architects; Craig Bouck, consulting principal, Barker Rinker Seacat Architects; Brian Schack, project manager, Saunders Construction; and Greg Schmidt, president, Saunders Construction.

For more information about Campus Recreation and Wellness, visit

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— Photos by Joanna Bean, Jeffrey M Foster, and Isaiah J. Downing

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