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Florida Poly to build phoenix-shaped Wellness & Aquatics Center

LAKELAND, Fla. – Florida Polytechnic University will soon break ground on a new and vastly expanded, state-of-the-art wellness and aquatics center on campus, helping students match the rigors of their classroom academics with the value of health and fitness.

The yet-to-be-named facility will be shaped like a phoenix, the Florida Poly mascot, and include a range of facilities for strength, cardio and aquatics. Bridging the classroom and health worlds, the center will also have a dedicated space for students to design and test new technologies for physical and health training.

Florida Poly could begin building infrastructure on the complex this autumn, depending on development schedules, and open the facility for student use in the summer of 2017, providing a major new asset for Florida’s newest public university.

“We challenge our students daily with our STEM-focused academic curriculum, and so it’s only appropriate that we help them achieve new heights in overall wellness and personal fitness,” said Florida Poly President Dr. Randy K. Avent. “For this project, we carefully considered ways to enhance the on-campus needs of students and faculty to help develop the whole individual.”

Need for the new facility became especially clear as attendance and usage of the University’s current wellness center has increased by 408% since last year, and 90% of students who participate in intramural sports programs found positive professional and social development helps them in the workplace.

“Our students are constantly evolving, creating, designing, collaborating and inventing,” said Florida Poly’s Campus Recreation and Fitness Coordinator Ashley Ross. “A continuously sharp mind demands a healthy body, and this facility provides a tremendous resource for students to accomplish this.”

The new wellness center will include a more than 2,700 square-foot strength training area, a multipurpose room that can be used for group fitness classes and applied learning, two professional office spaces as well as a meeting room for both student and faculty usage and a covered outdoor rock climbing wall. Fully accommodating locker rooms will be available as well as two pools behind the building, one for lap swimming and the other for activities and intramural water sports.

“The project combines the inventive campus spirit with a sustainable design approach,” said Tim Hoeft, Managing Principal at Straughn Trout Architects, who developed the design concept. “For Florida Poly, the Phoenix is not only emblematic, but it also personifies the unique and innovative campus culture, which our design team found inspiring.”

About Florida Polytechnic University: 

Florida Polytechnic University is the newest member of the State University System of Florida. Dedicated exclusively to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), the University blends applied research with industry partnerships to give students an academically rigorous education with real-world relevance. Faculty experts at Florida Polytechnic University provide insightful analysis, opinions and comments about a broad range of STEM and higher education subjects. To connect with Florida Poly faculty, click here. The campus, located in Lakeland, Fla. along the I-4 High Tech Corridor, opened for classes in the fall of 2014.