Sacred Heart University officially opened the Bobby Valentine Health and Recreation Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony on the Fairfield Campus, Tuesday morning. The $21.8 million, state-of-the-art fitness facility for the entire student population is named after the University's executive director of athletics and Major League Baseball great, Bobby Valentine.
"This is one of the greatest honors I have had in my life," said Valentine. "I am humbled to be in the same company as William Pitt, Linda McMahon, Jack Welch and Frank Matire and others on the campus of Sacred heart University. I hope and pray that it can bring joy, excitement and satisfaction to our students this year and for many decades to come."
Hundreds of students, faculty, staff and friends of the University gathered Tuesday morning in front of the new building. Following the ribbon cutting by Valentine, University President Dr. John Petillo, University Senior Vice President, Mike Kinney, and Board of Trustee member Pablo Stalman, the BV Center opened its doors.
Designed by the renowned architectural firm, The S/L/A/M Collaborative, the 57,400-square foot, three-story center will be one of the most advanced athletic facilities in the nation, complete with an indoor track, a bowling center, an 18-bike spin center, a 45-foot climbing wall and exercise and weight-training rooms. The anticipated opening is August 2019.
The new facility is located behind the north end zone of Campus Field, and is an addition to the already scenic setting of Campus Field, home to SHU football, and men's and women's lacrosse. In addition, the center will allow SHU to reconfigure the current exercise and weight-training areas in the Pitt Center to better serve varsity sports and the University's 855 student-athletes.
The new complex includes a two-story, 7,000-square-foot fitness center for cardiovascular workouts, free and cable weights, circuit training and CrossFit opportunities. A 5,000-square-foot bowling center will feature LED widescreen monitors, and students will be able to relax and recharge over protein smoothies at the third-floor juice bar.
Based in Glastonbury, S/L/A/M also designed SHU's Center for Healthcare Education, which opened in August 2017, and is working on the University of Notre Dame's much-anticipated Campus Crossroads project.