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UMSL Recreation and Wellness Center opens doors

Looking out over a railing along the top floor of a brand-new campus facility, Adam Delgado wore a huge grin. The senior University of Missouri–St. Louis student was taking in the sights and sounds of the new UMSL Recreation and Wellness Center – something he’s been anticipating for a couple of years now.

“It’s awesome,” he said during an all-day July 28 open house that featured tours, classes, rock climbing and even Jamba Juice samples. “I knew it was going to be really, really sweet and everything, but I didn’t know it would be this breathtaking.”

Delgado’s only on campus one more week, since he graduates Aug. 8 and heads home to New York shortly thereafter. But having voted for the project as an underclassman, he said he couldn’t be more thrilled to see it come to fruition. He plans to make the most of the rec center every day leading up to commencement next weekend.

“It’s a really amazing addition to the campus,” said Delgado, who is planning a trip back to St. Louis and his alma mater this fall, “and hopefully it gets a lot of use.”

Charlotte Kawa, an information systems major at UMSL, has been working inside the facility for a few weeks already. In her role as a climbing wall supervisor, she’s in charge of training rock wall attendants on aspects of the job such as tying knots and proper belaying technique.

“I’m just really excited to see everybody inside enjoying the space,” Kawa said Tuesday as clusters of students, faculty and staff, and community members stopped by to check out the colorful climbing area. “It’s a really incredible space – from the climbing wall to the zipline in the pool.”

Lifeguard and incoming freshman Guy Goodpaster was on duty in the natatorium as the first water aerobics class got under way in the 155,000-gallon pool.

“It’s pretty exciting – definitely cool to see the place come to life,” said the engineeringmajor, who recently served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps and landed the part-time, on-campus gig at the rec center this summer. “I feel like it’s going to boost the morale of students … I can’t wait to start swimming and using the gymnasium.”

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