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NKU to unveil Campus Recreation Center expansion


University Marketing + Communications

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – From 84,000 square feet to 169,000. From 7 windows to 677. From a 250,000-gallon pool to 375,000 gallons of aquatic space.

Northern Kentucky University’s newly-expanded and renovated Campus Recreation Center is not your typical gym. 

The $48 million center takes the fitness experience to a new level with state-of-the-art facilities and amenities such as a bouldering wall, multi-activity court, deep-water diving well with a climbing feature, and study and gathering areas for students. 

“Our students told us they wanted state-of-the-art fitness facilities, and we listened,” said NKU President Geoffrey S. Mearns. “We are pleased to open this wonderful new recreation center for use by our students, faculty, staff, and the community.”

A ribbon-cutting event will be held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11 with the NKU Board of Regents, University leaders, and students. The center is located in the A.D. Albright Health Center.

The previous Campus Recreation Center was built in 1984 and designed for 8,000 students. NKU now serves more than 15,000 students, who approved a fee to repay the construction bonds and provided input throughout the planning process.

The Campus Recreation Center is intended to be a hub for student engagement and a center for involvement by the entire university community. 

“Students are excited about the new center,” said Student Government Association President Katherine Hahnel. “It was a student-led initiative, and we’re very happy to call it ours and make it a home on campus.”

In the three months since the fall term began, the Campus Recreation Center has already logged 60,000 visits by students – more than 50 percent higher than the same time period last year.

The center is also environmentally-friendly: the LEED Silver facility is heated and cooled by 80 geothermal wells, each 400 feet deep.

It was designed by Omni Architects of Lexington and Cannon Design of New York. The construction manager was Pepper Construction in Blue Ash. Construction took approximately 18 months.

The project also includes the renovation of NKU’s intramural sports fields, which was completed in fall 2013.

The Campus Recreation Center is free for NKU students, faculty, and staff, and memberships are available to community members. All fitness classes are offered free of charge, and personal training and swim lessons are also available.

For more information or to schedule a tour, please visit