July 31, 2018

Check out CU Denver's new Student Wellness Center

By Jonathan Rose
Denver Business Journal

Alumni, donors and VIPs will be on CU Denver's campus Wednesday to celebrate the grand opening of the school's first major recreation facility, the Lola & Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center.

It's a hard-fought win for the students, who voted to tax themselves in order to pay for the state-of-the-art multi-floor building with a six-lane swimming pool, 38-foot climbing wall, three-court gymnasium and several workout areas. And let's not forget about "The Nook", with its human-length nap chairs and blackout curtains.

"This gives us that high-visibility space we've been looking for," said Amber Long, executive director of the Student Wellness Center. During a tour of the building, she explained that engagement was her main focus. That engagement is encouraged in open-area work spaces, reflection rooms and even group fitness training in addition to the other workout-themed amenities.

Student voter turnout was unprecedented for a funding measure that increased student fees in order to pay for the building. More than 20 percent of the student body showed up to cast ballots. Typical turnout for student initiatives is about 4 percent according to CU President Bruce Benson.

Denver philanthropists Lola and Rob Salazar gave a $10 million gift toward the building. University publication CU Denver Today reported that the couple chose the project because it "reflects their belief in the power of hard work and determination to achieve success in life." Lola Salazar earned her master's degree at the university.