Troy University Celebrates Newly Opened Fitness and Wellness Center

TROY, AL – RDG Planning & Design recently joined Troy University and Seay, Seay & Litchfield Architects to celebrate the official dedication of the university’s newly-constructed Trojan Fitness Center. The result of a student-led initiative, the $25-million center was recommended by Troy University’s Student Government Association (SGA) and funded through student recreation fees. RDG’s design, which was completed in partnership with SS&L (Architect-of-Record), realizes the students’ vision to create a space supportive of creating healthy, lifelong habits.

Located on the corner of George Wallace Drive and University Avenue, the Trojan Fitness Center is one of the first buildings visitors encounter as they enter the campus. Designed to accommodate the fitness and recreational needs of both the students and the larger campus community, the multi-story facility offers vibrant and engaging spaces with strong indoor/outdoor connections. An open rotunda on the northwest side offers visibility into all three levels of the facility, while a grand staircase serves as a striking visual element within the facility’s highly-efficient layout design.

“The Trojan Fitness Center creates a home for the university’s Student Wellness Program and serves as a place where students can come together in wellness,” says RDG Principal and Architect Jack Patton, AIA, LEED AP. “RDG designed the building to blend into Troy’s rich architectural fabric. It embodies the same southern hospitality we came to enjoy while helping Troy envision and create this important facility.”

RDG’s experiential graphic design incorporates banners, dimensional art, window graphics, wall graphics and signage to create an experience that embraces the entire student body and highlights the nationalities of students who attend the university. Photographic elements depict the Troy student’s journey, from their first day to graduation day to the possibilities of professional life. Whimsical drawings of people in action embody the university’s motto, “Educate the mind to think, the heart to feel, and the body to act,” and are carried throughout the building as a symbol of Trojan pride. Signage design incorporates university brand colors, seamlessly integrating with the interior finishes and the building’s larger architectural context.

The Trojan Fitness and Wellness Center also includes a massive, beautiful piece of artwork from acclaimed artist Janet Nolan. Titled “High Tide,” the assemblage hangs down above the center’s atrium, a colorful tapestry of crushed cans the late artist collected.

“The first thing you encounter in this wonderful facility is a very unique piece of art that was left by the late artist Janet Nolan,” says University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. “What do we have in common with Harvard University? Many things, but in particular, Janet Nolan, because a piece similar to what is hanging in this atrium was commissioned by Harvard and now hangs on their campus. It reflects sustainability.”

The 78,000-square-foot center, which officially opened its doors in January, includes a multi-activity court, a basketball court, free and circuit weight training areas, aerobic exercise rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, a multi-level walking track and four offices.

“When I graduated in 1987, I could not imagine we could have a facility like this,” says Gibson Vance, president pro-tempore of the Troy University Board of Trustees. “At the end of the day, what we do is one thing — we try to make decisions on what is best for our students. We’re so proud of this facility because of how we got here. It was the SGA, the students, who came up with the idea of having this facility and how to fund this facility. They went to administration, crunched the numbers and brought this idea to the board.”

Current SGA President Morgan Long thanked his predecessors for their vision and selflessness. “We have students who have paid that [$100 per semester] fee for four years and don’t have the opportunity now to use it, but they saw the vision along with us for this facility to benefit students in the future,” Long says. “This building is the testament to the great relationship our admin and board have with our students.”

“Not only will it be instrumental in serving those who are currently enrolled, but it will also be an attraction for those who are considering where they want to spend their next four years,” says University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. “As we talk about recruitment and retention, this will add so much value, and there is a strong link between physical fitness and academic success.”

About Troy University
Troy University is a public university in Troy, AL. It was founded in 1887 as Troy State Normal School within the Alabama State University System, and is now the flagship university of the Troy University System. Troy University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS) to award associate, baccalaureate, master's, education specialist, and doctoral degrees. The university serves the educational needs of students in four Alabama campuses and 60 teaching sites in 17 U.S. states and 11 countries.