Prior to 2009, Stony Brook University’s Recreation Center consisted of two classrooms on the third floor of the Student Activities Center. In October 2012, the humble, 3,000-square-foot space was replaced by a new 84,000-square-foot facility known as the Walter J. Hawrys Recreation Center.
The upgraded facility took 10 years of designing, planning and building before it finally opened, and in the time since, the programs held in the Recreation Center have quadrupled in size.
On October 19, the center celebrated its 10th anniversary, commemorated with a variety of programs and activities.
Students and visitors had the opportunity to take a full guided tour of the extensive facility, which includes three full-size wood courts, a large multi-activity court, a classroom, and a wide selection of fitness equipment for students, faculty and staff. During the tour, there was a surprise visit from Wolfie while the Spirit of Stony Brook Marching Band performed on the wooden courts. Following the facility tour, the Recreation Center hosted a tie-dye event for students, and later in the day, a glo-yo (glow-yoga) session was held for students, along with a Bingo game with prizes and a paint-night event.
The varied selection of events highlights the fact that the facility is geared toward both the fitness and wellness of students; not all activities hosted by the Recreation Center are focused on physical fitness.
The center has a full-scale intramural program for a variety of sports, including but not limited to flag football, indoor and outdoor soccer, basketball, softball and volleyball. Guided fitness programs and personal trainers are other amenities also available to students. Outside of athletic sports, the center also offers many activities with a more laid-back approach to wellness and often hosts tournaments for spikeball, table tennis, cornhole and video games.
The Recreation Center helps cultivate the ability of students to work as a team and to collaborate with each other through team sports and events, which are transferable skills that are highly valued in the workplace. As one of the largest on-campus student employers on campus, the Recreation Center serves as a hub for student life and livelihood.
Marie Turchiano, director of Recreation and Wellness, said, “Any experience here, whether employee, intramural participant, or a participant in any activity, it’s all transferable skills like collaborating, working together, and meeting people.”
— Boaz Abramson