Rec Center Usage Triples at New South Campus Recreation Center

Story by Halleigh Derrick and Tucker Robbins
haderric@go.olemiss.edu; tyrobbin@go.olemiss.edu 

The South Campus Recreation Center opened this semester as the university’s newest exercise facility. Photo by Halleigh Derrick.

Since its opening more than two months ago on Aug. 26, the South Campus Recreation Center (SCRC) has opened up more fitness options for students at Ole Miss and people in the Oxford community. 

“Most of our either daily numbers, weekly or monthly are almost tripling themselves compared to what we were seeing in Turner just by having this new space … just shows that we needed this new space and that we had outgrown Turner Center as a university,” said Assistant Director of Fitness for Ole Miss Campus Recreation Carey Greenwood.

The Turner Center, a 9,000 square foot facility, was built in 1983 to accommodate the 9,236 students enrolled at the University. As enrollment numbers increased to 20,000-plus in recent years, so did the need for more recreational space. The new SCRC is located on Whirlpool Drive and covers 98,000 square feet.

“I think the space has been really awesome. Even at our peak hours in the evenings, we still have plenty of room. At Turner, peak hours (meant) almost every piece of equipment might have been taken or been used,” said Greenwood said.

To help accommodate more than 3,000 visitors between the Turner Center and the SCRC per week, the SCRC has introduced an indoor-outdoor functional training turf, rock wall and a bouldering wall as new options for recreational activity.

With a total budget of $32 million, the idea for the project began when the University purchased the former Whirlpool property, off Chucky Mullins Drive, in 2010. The Center is also open to community members outside of the university. 

“I think it’s just been really awesome to see the different backgrounds, different ethnicities and different ages of people throughout our facility that are utilizing it at different times of the day or throughout the whole day,” Greenwood said. 

The SCRC also houses the William Magee Center for Wellness Education, and Campus Recreation will continue to expand its fitness and recreation equipment with the addition of a high ropes course set to be completed at the end of January and sport club fields in the spring. 

For more information concerning the SCRC, please contact the Department of Campus Recreation.

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