Niagara University Celebrates Its $11.5 Million Rec Center Renovation

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A university in New York state is celebrating its renovated recreation center. 

Niagara University in Lewiston held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its Kiernan Recreation Center, which recently underwent an $11.5 million renovation. The center has been open since the fall of 2022, but the official kickoff was celebrated Thursday. 

The Kiernan Center features an indoor track, swimming pool, free weights, basketball courts, an aerobic dance area, and an array of cardio and strength-training equipment, according to a news release from the university. The facility is used by more than 2,000 individuals each week, with 400 students participating in club sports and more than 1,000 students competing in intramural sports each year. Students also participate in popular workout programs such as kickboxing, Zumba, Pilates and yoga. The facility has space that is used by a number of academic departments each semester as part of their curriculum.

According to the university, the renovation project included the construction of an 18,000 square-foot, two-story addition with a new weight room, sports medicine suite, advanced dance studios, field and classroom storage, athletic locker rooms, team meeting space, and recreation offices. In addition, improvements including replacement to the front gym floor, upgrades to Scaffidi gym, and infrastructure enhancements such as a new natatorium filtration system were also completed during the renovation, as were student-focused additions such as student meeting and multi-use spaces and a new, more welcoming entryway.

In addition to its importance for recreation, the Kiernan Center is also used for the universityā€™s academic programs. The center is a resource for students from the College of Education involved in the Special Olympics class programming, theatre students have dance classes in in the facility, the sport management program uses the facility for classes and programs, and R.O.T.C. Purple Eagle battalion uses the center for its training programs. 

The project was funded through a $1 million grant from the NYS Higher Education Capital matching program, as well as other private donations and university investments.

NU said it partnered with LeChase Construction Services to manage the renovations.

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