President Lovell announces his commitment to a redesigned Wellness + Recreation facility on campus

The project will refurbish and expand the university’s Helfaer Rec Center to consolidate fitness, recreation, medical and counseling services under one roof

Marquette President Michael R. Lovell announced Thursday, March 3, in his eighth annual campus address that the university plans to expand its Helfaer Tennis Stadium and Recreation Center (Rec Center) at 525 N. 16th St. on Southwest Edge completely redesign the campus, as comprehensive Wellness + leisure facility. It will bring together the campus’ fitness and recreation facilities with the Counseling Center and Marquette University Medical Clinic — student-centric services currently spread across campus.

The announcement comes just months after an anonymous alumni couple launched a $10 million fundraiser to transform and integrate the university’s undergraduate health, wellness and recreation services.

The facility will combine fully renovated portions of the Rec Center, including significantly updated facades with additional windows, with a newly constructed three-story wellness tower that will be at the core of the facility. All interior fitting systems are replaced. Using an existing building footprint and some of its structures supports sustainability and fiscal responsibility.

President Lovell says the goal is to complete the estimated $80 million, 180,000-square-foot facility by the end of 2024, pending funding.

As with recent campus capital projects, the facility will be funded through a combination of philanthropy, outside partnerships and university funds. Additionally, funds raised through an existing recreation and wellness levy passed via a student referendum in 2017-18 will flow into the project.

A groundbreaking date has not yet been set, but key fundraising, design processes and programmatic planning are already underway. In addition, Marquette University Student Administration has been involved in the process and supports this project that has such a direct impact on all Marquette students. You will continue to be involved in the planning phase.

“This will be a transformational project for our campus, especially for our students. Not only is this facility an important part of our campus master plan, but it’s really about building a culture of wellbeing in Marquette,” said President Lovell. “When completed, the facility will combine recreational, fitness, clinical and mental health services under one roof.”

A campus destination for health and wellness

Designed by St. Louis-based HOK and Milwaukee’s Workshop Architects, the facility will promote community, inclusion and engagement and provide an on-campus destination that supports the physical and mental health needs of the Marquette community.

The newly designed facility will be a transparent, light-flooded and networked space. The program in the new wellness tower includes the Marquette University Medical Clinic, the Counseling Center, an area for alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs, and a sexual violence prevention area. The design will include multiple flexible multipurpose spaces to accommodate larger group meetings and additional recreation spaces to create strong connections and collaborations between recreation and wellness-oriented departments.

The first two floors of the space will house campus recreation components, with additional recreation spaces spanning all levels of the facility. The program includes a large gymnasium with basketball courts, outdoor fitness rooms and equipment, a spinning studio, group fitness studios, multi-purpose recreation fields, tennis courts, a swimming pool, campus recreation staff offices, locker rooms, and a classroom.


Wellness features:

  • 3-storey wellness tower
  • Counseling center with individual and group counseling rooms
  • Marquette University Medical Clinic
  • Wellness suite
  • Multifunctional recreation studios

Leisure and fitness functions:

  • 2 multipurpose recreation pitches
  • 4 tennis courts
  • 4 basketball courts
  • 25 m. swimming pool
  • 2 group gyms
  • 1 spinning studio

The fundraiser for wellness and recreation continues

Extensive fundraising campaigns are already underway. An anonymous couple contributed a $5 million leadership gift in December and have pledged to donate an additional $5 million once the university community raises $10 million in new gifts and pledges. Her goal is to inspire Marquette alumni, parents and friends to support this landmark project.

Donations to the fund are accepted here.

time to get up: The Marquette promise to make the difference

Marquette’s comprehensive $750 million fundraising campaign, the most ambitious in Marquette’s 140-year history, increases resources to advance the university’s mission and pillars of excellence, leadership, faith and service . The university has raised more than $566 million to date, which is 75% of its goal. More than 53,000 donors have already supported time to get up, including 44% of donors making their first donation to the university. Throughout the campaign, 112 donors have pledged donations of $1 million or more.

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