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Rocks and Recreation

The new Student Activity Center near Presidential Village includes a climbing wall. CW | Pete Pajor

Alessandra Delrose

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The new Student Activity Center, located near Presidential Village, is now open for use.

The new facility was built in an effort to meet high demand for a place for students and community members to stay active.

“With the current recreation center getting as much use as it did, it was decided that a new recreation center was going to be made,” said Outdoor Recreation coordinator Stephen Middleton.

The SAC offers basketball courts, workout equipment and weights, a permanent indoor soccer rink surrounded by glass and a rock climbing wall.

The view from the SAC is gorgeous. As you workout on the treadmills, you have the opportunity to look out at the beautiful Black Warrior River,” Middleton said.

Tre’ Sharper, a junior University Recreation employee, said he loves the new facility.

“One of my favorite spots here would be our weight room, which is really nice and has all brand new equipment,” Sharper said.

Besides the picturesque location and state-of-the-art equipment, the SAC also features a tornado shelter for weather emergencies.

“The most important factor to me, is that this new rec center also has a tornado shelter built in the bottom just in case of an emergency, “ Cyrus Alavi, an Outdoor Recreation employee, said. “The SAC may be smaller than the original rec center, but it still has a lot to offer.”

For Middleton and Alavi, it’s the new rock climbing wall that makes a real difference between the two recreation centers on campus.

“Right when you walk into the doors, you see a 40-foot-tall rock climbing wall that will hopefully will take your breath away,” Middleton said.

Along with the 40-foot rock wall, rock walls surround the tower and fill an area below the staircase.

Ethan Jackson, a junior who climbed the rock wall in the new facility, said his experience on the wall was amazing.

“I had been on the wall in the old Rec one or two times, but when I saw this huge rock-climbing wall here, I had to try it,”Jackson said. “The rock-climbing wall had so much to offer and it was a lot of fun.”

Middleton says he has high hopes for the climbing wall program in general at the University.

“Specifically with the climbing wall, I would like to see our climbing program increase now especially with this new wall being as high as it is, we could have some really good educational programs, and hopefully it can increase the overall participation with students here at the University,” Middleton said.

A grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at the SAC Friday, Sept. 5.

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