The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

January 11, 2011

Another feather in UPJ’s cap

Wellness Center should help lure applicants

— We’re proud to say there are a lot of reasons – No. 1 being excellent academics – why a young person would choose Pitt-Johnstown to further his or her education. Yet another reason was added to the list last week with the opening of the $9.7 million Wellness Center.

The 40,000-square-foot structure is nothing short of spectacular.

Fortunately, more and more students today are looking beyond the classroom and curriculum of an institution and are seeking a well-rounded college experience.

It’s obvious the campus’ newest addition will serve well as another marketing tool as UPJ continues to attract the brightest and best students.

“Our new Wellness Center will provide our students with much-needed fitness and recreational space, and it will help to advance our efforts to create a healthier campus and promote a keener awareness of the interconnection between mind, body and spirt,” UPJ President Jem Spectar said at last week’s ribbon-cutting dedication ceremony.

University spokesman Robert Knipple said that, for now, the center is open only to Pitt-Johnstown students, faculty and staff.

The Wellness Center offers a 30-foot climbing wall, three-lane running track, a 1,000-square-foot dance studio, two multipurpose courts, a fully equipped cardiovascular area and a multipurpose gym with extensive strength-training equipment.

What is especially intriguing is that it is linked to UPJ’s Sports Center, which dates to the late 1970s, and the Zamias Aquatic Center, which was dedicated in 1990.

“The center is a place for students to get away from the stress of everyday life, regroup and get back in touch with themselves,” Spectar said.

No question, it’s that and much more.

The new Wellness Center is the 36th building on the 655-acre UPJ campus.

During the past 15 years, other additions have included:

* Willow Hall, a $4.9 million student residence completed in 2005.

* Blackington Hall, a $7.5 million classroom and administrative building dedicated in 1997.

* The $18 million Living/Learning Center, which was finished in late 1994.

It’s easy to see why this Richland Township jewel continues to attract large numbers of applicants not only from our region and state, but from every bordering state and beyond as well.

Award-winning academic programs and top-notch facilities on a breathtaking setting make it awfully inviting.

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