New campus building boasts extra athletics facilities

Innovation and Wellness Centre set to open fall 2018

The IWC is set to open this coming fall.

After closing in 2016 for a renovation overhaul, the Physical Education Centre (PEC) is making a comeback—and with a new name.

The Innovation and Wellness Centre (IWC)—built on the foundations of the PEC and set to open this coming fall—will be an innovation hub where academic and wellness spaces intersect. It will boast the new Student Wellness Centre, interdisciplinary labs for students and space for exams.

The centre will also include three athletic facilities which are slated to be completed and open to students by January 2019. The gymnasia will be referred to as the “ARC South” and will be connected—and accessible—to the current ARC by way of an underground tunnel.

The “ARC South” will revitalize two of the previous PEC gymnasiums and add a third which will include a 4,000 square foot weight room, a 35 metre turf area for conditioning and development and a medicine ball power development wall. The high-performance training centre will also have an active staircase, universal change rooms, and support offices for student athletes.

Additional recreation space in the IWC will reduce the pressure placed on the ARC by meeting the increasing demand to for more space available to students.

“The IWC’s opening will mean hundreds of additional hours of participation opportunities that will benefit all of our programs, from casual recreation and intramurals to varsity sports and community partners,” Leslie Dal Cin, Executive Director, Athletics & Recreation, told The Journal over email.

“The new facilities will open up space in the Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC), allowing us to provide additional programming and equipment to accommodate ever-increasing interest and demand from our entire campus community."

Until the ARC opened in 2009, the PEC was served as the only athletic facility on campus. It originally opened in 1931 before renovation took place in 1970.

Proposed plans to upgrade the IWC compensate for some of the areas of construction in which the University has fallen short on.

The ARC marked just Phase One of the Queen’s Centre project—which, before construction was halted due to overbearing costs, planned to include a Phase Two and Three. Outstanding phases were intended to create a field house, new hockey arena and an improved student-life centre. This past year also saw a failed proposal to revitalize the JDUC.

The IWC offers an extension of Phase One and a version of Phase Three, as student-athlete offices and other student-wellness services will be found in the new building.

Fortunately, the state-of-the-art spaces found in the IWC will further expand the athletic opportunity for community members, recreational activities and varsity athletes alike.

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