Gannon University Hosts Grand Opening and Blessing for New Recreation & Wellness Center

Rec Center OpeningPosted: August 29, 2014


Just 364 days after ground was broken on the project, Gannon University's new Recreation and Wellness Center was dedicated in a ceremony this morning.

The project was a $14.5 million modernization of Gannon's existing facility that transformed an entire city block in downtown Erie bounded by Peach and Sassafras streets between W. Third and W. Fourth streets.

Salient features of the project include:


  • A 14,000-square-foot addition with a glass front facing W. Fourth St.
  • A complete interior renovation including new locker rooms, a new varsity weight room and areas for wrestling  and the acrobatics and tumbling program that began competition last year.
  • A new Human Performance Laboratory that includes motion analysis and human performance and testing  laboratories where faculty and students in the physical therapy, sport and exercise science, human performance,  occupational therapy, biomedical engineering and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs can collaborate on  learning and research projects.
  • A new 51,300-square-foot indoor field house that will feature an 80-yard indoor athletic field enabling year-round  practice for athletic teams and increased intramural and club sports programs. The space can be subdivided into  three separate areas so that multiple activities can take place at once.


In his remarks at the facility's blessing ceremony, Gannon University President Keith Taylor, Ph.D. acknowledged the scale of the massive project, and called it "the most impressive health and fitness facility in the area." He added that the most impressive aspect of the project was its potential to be "the vessel of opportunity for transformation."

He cited University wellness initiatives, curricular and co-curricular learning, student life and the vibrancy of the downtown neighborhood as the beneficiaries of that transformative potential.

Stressing the academic opportunities created by the project, Gannon Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Carolynn Masters, Ph.D., RN, called the facility, "a classroom building, and one of the most sophisticated examples on our campus. With state-of-the-art technology that has to be seen to be believed, students will have an unprecedented series of tools by which to learn about the human body in ways that would have been unimaginable just a few short years ago."

The facility opens as Gannon University welcomes to campus the largest number of students-4,500-enrolled in 24 years.