Sep 5, 201302:00 PMPoint of View

The METROPOLIS Blog

Welcome to the Wellness Center

(page 3 of 3)

Northern Arizona University’s Health and Learning Center.

Courtesy Bill Timmerman

The university is hoping that efforts stemming from the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center and its supporting medical campus will help the state of Colorado tackle preventable health issues such as obesity. University of Colorado president Bruce Benson acknowledges that U.S. obesity rates are expected to continue to climb, but he believes that “the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center is the very beginning of getting this stopped and getting this changed . . . they will be doing great things in solving the problems that face us and working on nutrition, exercise, and lifestyles.”

Northern Arizona University’s Health and Learning Center consolidates five previously dispersed facilities into one cohesive student learning environment that blends student health and counseling, classrooms, campus recreation, and intercollegiate athletics. The “facility design has transformed the recreation health, disability, and athletic services provided on campus into a state-of-the-art collaborative health model for the future,” says Beth Applebee, Northern Arizona University’s campus health director.

Northern Arizona University’s Health and Learning Center.

Courtesy Bill Timmerman

The entire facility is focused on increasing opportunities for collaboration among a diverse range of user groups. Recognizing the many benefits of a collaborative approach, the university and design team engaged students throughout the development of the Health and Learning Center and incorporated their ideas and recommendations in the design.

Today’s students live in the digital world and have more access to information than ever, utilizing technology and social media to educate, monitor, and support their personal health goals. Whether they actually hit the gym daily is debatable, but they do recognize the importance of developing healthy habits, and they seek guidance, institutional resources, and facilities to achieve their personal health goals. Attracting students is the lifeline of institutions, and, like it or not, a state-of-the-art wellness and recreation center can be a meaningful differentiator.

 

Colleen McKenna leads Cannon Design’s sport practice from the firm’s Boston office. Her diverse portfolio includes college and university recreation and wellness centers, intercollegiate athletic facilities, and several cutting-edge fusion facilities. Learn more about Colleen’s work and follow Cannon Design on Twitter @cannondesign

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