Palmer Field Temporary Recreation Facility to open Jan. 20

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U-M’s newest recreation center will make its debut this week with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, gift give-a-ways and building tours.

The grand opening celebration for the Palmer Field Temporary Recreation Facility will begin at 11 a.m. Jan. 20.

The 23,000-square-foot center on the north end of Palmer Field is filled with cardio equipment, strength training machines and other amenities. It was designed to help members of the campus community keep up with their health and fitness goals during the demolition and replacement of the nearby Central Campus Recreation Building.

Like the CCRB, the Palmer Field Temporary Recreation Facility will be open to students and Recreational Sports members. Hours for the winter 2023 semester are 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, noon-8 p.m. Saturday and noon-9 p.m. Sunday.

The facility has 57 cardio stations, 42 free-weight stations, 30 selectorized strength stations, a room for fitness classes and a two-lane running and walking track. Other amenities include single-stall restrooms, single-stall shower rooms and 348 lockers for daily use.

Construction of the fabric-and-steel structure began last summer and concluded earlier this month. The Board of Regents approved the $9.5 million project last spring.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony is open to the public and will include remarks from students Jacob Bruetsch, chair of the Advisory Committee of Recreational Sports, and Kevin Orloski, president of Building a Better Michigan, a student organization that advises on the development of U-M University Unions and Recreational Sports facilities.  

“After careful planning and great focus on student considerations this past year, I am ecstatic to be part of the opening of the Palmer Field Temporary Recreation Facility,” Orloski said. “As the Michigan community eagerly awaits the completion of the CCRB replacement, I hope students, alumni and staff alike find this space best able to meet their recreational needs.”

The first 80 people in attendance at the ceremony will receive a small gift, said Mike Widen, director of Recreational Sports. Building tours also will be available.

The Palmer Field Temporary Recreation Facility will serve the campus community while a new Central Campus Recreation Building is under construction. (Photo by Scott C. Soderberg, Michigan Photography)

The Board of Regents voted in 2018 to replace the CCRB — part of which dated to 1956 — after it was determined that various structural issuesmade reusing it unfeasible.

The building closed Dec. 9. Demolition work is underway.

The new CCRB will be constructed on the same site at 401 Washtenaw Ave. It will be approximately 200,000 square feet and have modern gymnasium courts, a track for jogging and walking, spaces for strength and cardiovascular training, group exercise rooms, aquatic areas, a climbing wall, squash and racquetball courts, locker rooms and support and administration spaces.

A fall 2025 opening is expected.

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