Queen's Centre celebrates grand openings
Grand Opening celebrations for the new Queen’s Centre kick off today with an open house and ceremony at the new School of Kinesiology and Health Studies. The day-long event also features an indoor parade, student performances and a grand opening in the Athletic and Recreation Centre main gym, and building tours.
From opening day on December 1, the new facility has been a hub of activity in the heart of campus. Integrated athletic areas, food services and common space for studying and relaxing are a definite hit with students. “I like studying here because it’s more relaxed than the library,” says second-year Biology student Michael Pike.
Made possible largely by the students’ $25.5 million commitment, the new facility is a fitting tribute to the sense of tradition that is integral to the university.
“From the beginning, students have been the driving force behind the Queen’s Centre,” says Alma Mater Society president Michael Ceci. “Their willingness to contribute an unprecedented amount of financial support to something that will impact campus life long after they are gone shows their true commitment to the university and its future generations of students.”
The commitment is the largest by a student group in Canadian history, but alumni and friends have also donated to the project. Plaques unveiled during the day commemorate major donors. Among them, the Athletics & Recreation Centre Alumni Lounge on the main floor of the Athletics & Recreation Centre (ARC) is named for Board of Trustees Chair William Young (Sci’77) and his wife Amanda Young.
“As an alumnus, it means a lot to be able to give back and contribute to such an important part of student life,” says Mr. Young. “The facility embodies what Queen’s wants for all of its students—a holistic learning experience that develops mind, body and spirit.”
The new School of Kinesiology and Health Studies building brings kinesiology, health studies and physical education students, faculty, staff and their leading-edge labs together in one place on campus.
“Having our own building is a significant step,” says Director, Jean Cote. “Not only does it allow us the physical space to do more leading-edge research, it also reflects the growth and importance of this field of study, both at Queen’s and in society.”
“Our new labs and teaching facilities are unequaled in Canada,” says Dr. Cote. “They will enhance our ability to deliver first-class academic and professional programs, and will improve collaboration within the school, as well as with other faculties and schools like medicine, education, psychology, and nursing.”
Located adjacent to the Athletics and Recreation Centre, the school can also continue to collaborate closely with Athletics and play an important part in campus life. “There are a lot of synergies with the Queen’s Centre’s focus on physical, mental and social wellbeing,” says Dr. Cote. “The integration of the buildings makes a lot of sense.”
The Queen’s Centre is a significant milestone in Queen’s history.
“The hallmark of Queen’s has always been excellence in education combined with the broader learning experience out of the classroom. Finally, we have the sport and student life facilities that do justice to the whole Queen’s experience,” says Principal Daniel Woolf.
The Queen’s Gaels host their first ever competitive events in the Queen’s Centre on Sunday, January 17, 2010. Women’s and Men’s Volleyball face York University with game times set for 2 pm and 4 pm respectively. Special ceremonies commemorating the opening of the Main Gym will also take place during the game.
Also taking place on January 17 is the Queen’s Wrestling Invitational and the Eastern Canadian Synchronized Swimming University Championship. Wrestling will hold its event in the Upper Gym of the Athletics & Recreation Centre (ARC) and synchronized swimming will be held in the pool.
Click here to watch a video of the Grand Opening celebrations.