The $37.5 million student recreation center has been on UofL’s “wish list” for years and is expected to be completed in fall 2013. It will be built near the student residence halls and dining areas just off Fourth Street.

The 128,000-square-foot center will include an exercise and weight facility; six basketball courts; multi-activity court for indoor soccer and floor hockey; racquetball courts; aerobic studios; jogging track; fitness lab; classrooms and a gaming area. It also will feature a lighted, artificial-turf field for recreational use and physical education classes.

“Our recreational facilities have lagged behind many other Kentucky universities,” said UofL President James Ramsey. “Along with the new housing and retail developments in that area, the student recreation center will further energize our thriving campus environment and it will help us recruit even more top students to UofL.”

Private funding and a $98-per-semester fee endorsed by the Student Senate will pay for the center.

The first UofL building to be heated and cooled with geothermal energy, the Student Recreation Center is expected to earn gold certification through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.

John Drees is a 35-year veteran in the Office of Communications and Marketing. As vice president, communications and marketing, he works closely with the president, provost and other senior administrators, oversees the Office of Communications and Marketing, including media relations, marketing and brand, broadcast, social media, internal communication, crisis communication, visitor services and special events and activities. A former sports editor for the Voice Newspapers, he was a regular contributor to a variety of publications, including the Kentucky Sports Report and the Courier-Journal. A poor but enthusiastic golfer, he is an avid Cardinal sports fan. He also loves the Detroit Lions, so pity him.