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luthholycross College of the Holy Cross
Rendering of plans for recreation center at College of the Holy Cross.

Site cleared for recreation center at College of the Holy Cross

The college has begun demolition of the field house on its Worcester, Mass., campus to make way for a $30 million recreation and wellness center.

The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., has begun demolishing its field house to make way for a $30 million recreation and wellness center.

The college's upper campus — where the field house sits — will soon be home to the new Joanne Chouinard-Luth Recreation and Wellness Center.

The new 52,000 square foot facility — colloquially referred to as "The Jo" — will offer a wide range of fitness and wellness spaces, including sports courts, weight rooms, a golf simulator, three rooms for yoga, cycling and fitness, and a one-tenth-mile suspended jogging track overlooking Worcester.

The three-story facility also will be home to club and intramural sports and house an expanded office for Public Safety. 

The field house has served as a gathering space for recreation, intramural sports and campus life since 1947. The structure started out as a war-surplus hangar at Camp Endicott in Rhode Island before being reassembled at Holy Cross.

“This new facility will more than meet an ever-growing need for a modern fitness and recreation space on campus,” says Michele Murray, vice president for student affairs and dean of students. “We know the vast majority of our students value wellness, and The Jo will be an essential component to the health and wellness of the minds, bodies and spirits of not only students, but the entire Holy Cross community.”

Construction of The Jo is made possible by a $40 million donation — the largest in college history — from John Luth, a 1974 alumnus, and his wife, Dr. Joanne Chouinard-Luth. A significant part of the donation, $25 million, is allocated toward the renovation and expansion of the Hart Center, which was dedicated in 2018.

The Jo is slated for completion by Fall 2020.


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