Rendering of wellness and recreation center under construction St. Ambrose University

Rendering of wellness and recreation center under construction.

Davenport, Iowa, university is building a new recreation center

80,000-square-foot facility at St. Ambrose University is scheduled to open in 2017.

St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, has begun construction of a 80,000-square-foot recreation and fitness facility.

The university says the Wellness and Recreation Center is the largest capital project in the university's history. It is  being erected just west of the existing Physical Education Center on campus and is scheduled to open in fall 2017.

Among the major interior features will be a 56,000-square-foot field house and a 5,200-square-foot, two-story cardio workout and weight room.

The center will have basketball courts, a running track and a two-story cardio room.

The field house will have four basketball/volleyball courts, including two wooden floor courts and two courts made of resilient flooring, as well as a 200-meter competition track, pole vault areas, and long- and triple-jump pits.

The Center is the main focus for St. Ambrose's $18.5 million "Building Our Future" campaign. The university has invested more than $90 million over the past decade in construction and renovations.

"As a leading Midwestern Catholic University, St. Ambrose continues to evolve and grow along with the needs and interests of our students," says Sister Joan Lescinski, university president. "The time has come for us to provide state-of-the-art wellness, recreation and athletics facilities that will serve the 'whole' student in body, mind and spirit."

The facility also will have lab space for some of the university's health and wellness-related academic programs, including undergraduate kinesiology programs in exercise science, human performance and fitness, and sport management.

Video: Virtual tour of the wellness and recreation center:

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