The May 2021 Rec of the Month is the Student Recreation and Fitness Center, home to Campus Recreation at Lewis University.
LEWIS UNIVERSITY RECREATION, FITNESS AND WELLNESS MISSION STATEMENT
Student Recreation, Fitness and Wellness is dedicated to providing outstanding fitness, wellness, recreational, competitive and social opportunities to the Lewis community. Our focus is on promoting a wellness lifestyle to the campus through a comprehensive recreational services program, outstanding facilities and lifelong learning opportunities.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION STATEMENT
Lewis University’s department of Student Recreation, Fitness and Wellness is dedicated to building and sustaining a community that welcomes everyone from all abilities, identities and backgrounds. Everyone will have the opportunity to enrich their lives through movement, wellness and diverse activities. We infuse fun and positive energy into everything we do while fostering curiosity that leads to engagement and learning.
Through association, we authentically commit to providing spaces and programming that embrace and celebrate each individual’s well-being, while keeping their personal success in mind. We pledge to continually grow in the ways we implement inclusive practices that meet the needs of all Lewis University students on campus, virtually and in the community.
DESCRIPTION OF FACILITIES
The Student Recreation and Fitness Center. Opened April 17, 1996, this building consists of over 70,000 square feet and includes:
- Fitness Center with both cardiovascular and selectorized weight training machines.
- A 45,000-square-foot Field House (FH) with four interchangeable courts that can be used for basketball, volleyball, tennis, badminton and pickleball. This is a shared space with athletics so there is often baseball, softball, lacrosse and soccer played within the space as well. The FH also has a 200-meter, four-lane indoor competitive track. The track is used for NCAA events as well as the casual walker/jogger.
- Aerobics studio with wood sprung floor.
- A 25-yard indoor lap pool with eight lanes and used for NCAA events as well as the casual swimmer/athlete rehabilitation.
- Meeting room for special events, seminars and classes.
- Men’s and women’s daily use locker rooms.
- Spin studio.
The Powerhouse Flex and Fitness Center. Opened September 2015, this 5,000-square-foot building was built to allow for additional space for free weight use. There is also a little more than a handful of cardiovascular pieces located here for the user who wants to incorporate circuit training with their weights or just prefers this space to the Student Recreation and Fitness Center. This space is also used by academic classes from our sport and exercise science program, club sport team, weight training and the ROTC.
Esports Lounge. Opening March 2020, this dedicated space for the Lewis Esports club opened a few weeks before the country shut down in 2020. We have approximately 4,000 square feet for club use. There are 24 gaming computers with individual stations as well as a wall of TVs for using the group’s PS4s, Nintendo Switches or for viewing esports competitions.
The Burnham Centennial Nature Trail. Established in 2008, the nature trail offers the Lewis University community a passage to nature. Students, faculty and staff can enjoy a relaxing walk or a quick-paced run in a section of campus dedicated to the wild and natural history of Illinois. Along this trail, you will find native plant and tree species. Earth Day and Arbor Day events are planned each year to restore the area. A one-of-a-kind frisbee golf course has also been created along the trail.
Frisbee Golf Course. Established in 2008, but enhanced in 2020, we began with a nine-hole course in 2008 and enhanced the course with three less challenging holes in 2020.
Archery Range. Established in 2019, this area on the south end of our campus was built by our thoughtful facility staff who always try to help accommodate student interests. There are six shooting lanes with targets and backstops. All the materials used were recycled from previous construction projects. The six lanes are set at various distances to accommodate the various skill sets within this particular club sport.
Stadium Turf. Established in 2011, this area is home to our men and women soccer teams, lacrosse team, and track and field team. A number of our club sports practice on the turf under the lights. Intramural flag football and kickball are also played in this venue.
Rugby Pitch/Practice Fields. Established in 2010, this area encompasses 6.5 acres of land. A number of our intercollegiate teams and club teams utilize this space for various activities. There are also some great hills for winter sledding.
Jack Oremus Tennis Courts. Established in 2000, the courts feature six courts for intercollegiate and recreation use. It was completely redone in 2015.
The Backyard. Established in 2009, this is a popular space on our campus. There are two sand volleyball courts with lights, built in cornhole stations, a firepit, built in grills and an area for seating.
Wellness – Offers a variety of programs we call Wellness on Wednesday where we partner with local experts and on-campus faculty experts to share the latest and greatest in wellness education for our community. We instituted an annual program called Healthy Flyers where community members can nominate people within the Lewis community for various health and wellness related awards.
Fitness – Daily in person offerings pre-COVID totaled 18 to 22 classes per week. Class formats: yoga, Pilates, indoor cycling, Zumba, strength training, kickboxing and barre. We now also have a virtual component which we will likely continue to attract non-traditional aged students and graduate students. We offer an annual program called the “50 Class Challenge” where we acknowledge users who surpass 50 classes per year. All of our classes are free.
Intramurals – Intramural activities and the cherished IM Champ T-shirt have been a hallmark on the Lewis University campus for 40-plus years. Alums come back and tell stories of years and memories gone by. For our current students, we introduce them in the beginning at welcome days. It is an excellent opportunity to make friends and connect on campus. Participation is open to all levels and experience is not required. Some unique offerings on our campus include: flag football under the stadium lights, Nerf Blaster three-on-three and Sabakiball — the sport creator actually demo’d the activity on campus for our students.
Club Sports – We introduced club sports in 2010 and began with three sports. Over the past 11 years, it has grown to over 20. We’ve had great success in men’s club volleyball, basketball and hockey. Esports, a co-ed club, has managed to win some hardware as well. Recently, we have added some non-competitive activities like Jui Jitsu and archery which have proven to be a great vehicle to enhance belonging on our campus.
Special Events – Some of our cherished events include:
- Adaptapalooza Big Red Volleyball
- Zumbathon for Charity
- United in Diversity 5K
- Annual University Health Fair
- National Employee Health and Fitness Day
COVID Success Stories – We implemented a bracket challenge to engage students, faculty and staff with minimal commitment during the pandemic. We attracted more than we anticipated so the brackets have continued. The topics included: best Halloween candy, sides and pies for Thanksgiving, Christmas movies, shows to binge watch during break, cereal snacket bracket, and best college mascot. These brackets have provided a unique connection and opportunity for conversation during unprecedented times.
FUN FACTS ABOUT THE LEWIS REC CENTER
- April 17, 2021 is our 25th anniversary.
- Jason Derulo performed here for our students in 2010. His camp used more offices in preparation for the concert than we ever thought possible.
- It would not be unusual for our student staff to literally fly themselves to lunch in Nashville and then return to cover an evening shift. Aviation is one of our premier programs.
- We offer a membership to the local community 55-plus called the “Breakfast Club.” They are the University’s greatest ambassadors.
- We offer a Recreational Activities Day Camp to local schools in our community. It is our feeble attempt to hook the youngsters early. We also like to show them how play and that activity can be part of their normal daily lives.
FUN FACTS ABOUT LEWIS UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
- Tree Walk – Our 410-acre campus features more than 140 varieties of trees. Visitors often come to campus for the tree walk.
- Arboretum Status – We’ve had arboretum status for the last 12 years. We have over 2,400 trees in addition to wooded areas.
- We have a 737 airplane recently donated by American Airlines in 2020. This enhances mechanical learning in our Aviation department.
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