The facility will undergo a $1.3 million facelift funded by the UofL Foundation and the UofL Department of Athletics. When completed, it will offer more than 10 times the space of the current 2,000 square foot facility in the basement of Crawford Gym, which university leaders have deemed inadequate to meet the growing needs of UofL’s award-winning health management program, Get Healthy Now.

The new facility will feature more than twice as many cardio stations, including treadmills, stationary bikes and elliptical machines, as well as more weight-training equipment. The second-floor gymnasium will serve as a practice facility for UofL’s national champion Ladybirds and cheerleaders. An elevated indoor walking track will encircle the gym. (See the floor plans here. Opens as PDF)

“This is a perfect opportunity for us to continue to evolve with our wellness efforts,” said Patricia Benson, director of Get Healthy Now. She noted that faculty and staff have often cited the need for more space and more equipment.

Faculty and staff will be charged a small monthly fee for use of the facility. They also will continue to have free access to both the Student Activities Center and the Health Sciences Center fitness facilities. The SAC facility is expanding its summer hours to 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Both facilities are closed on Sundays.

Students will continue to have access to Humana Gym until the new Student Recreation Center is completed in fall 2013. Alumni, UofL Hospital employees and local neighborhood residents also will be able to buy memberships at Humana Gym.

The center will be particularly beneficial to employees from the Shelby and Health Sciences campuses, who often scramble to find parking near the current Crawford facility, Benson said.

“Bike racks, easy access to and from I-65 and Eastern Parkway, convenient parking and TARC access make the location of Humana Gym a very attractive one,” she said. “This is a win-win for everyone.”

Future plans for incorporating sustainability include aligning access with UofL’s Master Bike Plan and adding a bike path between Belknap and Humana gym.