Sarah Kate Purnell
On August 1, the Campus Staff at UNCG Weekly announced the Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness’ official public opening.
Located next to UNCG’s Spartan Village on W. Gate City Boulevard, the Kaplan Center acts as a replacement for the old Rec Center, with old features carrying over and new additions.
20,000 square feet of weight and fitness space, a 54-foot climbing wall, wellness spaces, seven basketball courts, swimming pools, and classrooms. “It takes a while to do a private tour,” quips a gym employee, Antonio Gonsalves.
“Wellness is a program housed within the Department of Recreation and Wellness that strives to provide education and develop students’ knowledge as it relates to their health and well-being,” The UNCG Wellness site states, “believing that a student’s’ success on campus is directly correlated with their understanding of their personal wellness journey.”
With the new Kaplan Center for Wellness being two and a half times larger than the former Rec Center, there are many amenities to enjoy. Speaking about the facilities Gonsalves remarked that “the biggest thing is that we’re unified now, in terms of our programs. Fitness, outdoor adventure, the pool; it’s all in one space. It makes it more available to students… [Kaplan Center] is accessible for people with different interests…there’s so many options with getting access.” This is different from the previous Recreation Center, which required separate entry for the rock wall and outdoor activity classes. Prior to the construction of the Kaplan Center, the pool was in a separate building entirely.
The Center includes a 55ft rock-climbing wall spanning three stories and inspired by the NC Pilot Mountain State Park, where UNCG outdoor trips have regularly traveled. Climbing routes are designed with differing difficulty levels, allowing novice to advanced climbers varied challenges, and is constructed of two different types of ‘rocks’ to promote variety for all climbers.
An upstairs running track stretches eight laps to a mile, with cardio equipment and fitness studios to allow for a variety of aerobic workouts.
New workout equipment joins old, with numerous treadmills and ellipticals returning. Recent additions to the equipment includes a Jacob’s Ladder, powerless curved treadmills and jungle gyms. Most new equipment bears the UNCG logo.
Other new features include a mat room for gymnastics, a weight room with extra rubber padding for Olympic tier weightlifting, and an outdoor terrace. Of the terrace, Gonsalves says “I’ve heard rumors of sunrise yoga.”
The aquatic area includes a competitive swim pool for laps, an activity pool with a vortex, a basketball hoop, zero depth entry point, and shallow wading areas. Swimming classes and kayak roll instructionals are offered, along with periodic in-pool movie nights.
The amount of group and individual classes is another new aspect of the Kaplan Center. “We have a lot more fitness programs, and classes.” Starting next semester, crossfit classes will join the roster of programs offered at the Center.
Intramural and club sports include soccer, tennis, volleyball, and basketball, for which the Kaplan Center serves as a hub. Academic classes will also be held in the Kaplan Center.
The Center provides options for Personal Training sessions, Instructional Training sessions and Group exercise.
Also offered are various fitness classes, including BODYPUMP, Zumba, HIIT Strength and Cardio, kickboxing, yoga, and Move ‘n Groove.
Information and scheduling on fitness classes and events is available on the UNCG Department of Recreation and Wellness. A UNCG student ID is required for entry.