ST. GEORGE — After over a year of preparation, Dixie State University’s newest facility, the Human Performance Center, is complete.
The university celebrated its completion with two days of events, beginning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and dedication blessing Wednesday in front of the 155,000 square-foot facility. Students have been using the classrooms included in the building since the beginning of the fall semester and already began using the gym facilities in October.
Dixie State’s Human Performance Center is the home of the institution’s Health and Human Performance department, which includes exercise science, population health, and recreation and sports management.
Eliezer Bermudez, dean of the college of health sciences, performed his duties as the master of ceremonies with the university’s newest building towering over the audience. Bermudez said he is most excited for all of the faculty, staff and students studying in the field of health sciences to be under one roof.
“It’s the first time that they are all together,” he said. “For the last three years, they have been scattered all around campus. And finally, we have them all together, here. The future of health sciences is bright and I cannot wait to see the benefits and advantages that the Human Performance Center will bring to our students.”
Having all of the necessary resources available in one place breeds an environment of collaboration and encourages experiential learning, Bermudez said.
The building will also be where the university’s first graduate program in the college of health sciences will be taught. Dixie State will offer the Master of Athletic Training in partnership with the University of Utah’s physical and occupational therapy program.
Campus Recreation and the intramural programs will also take up residence in the facility, taking advantage of the basketball courts, fitness center, 65-foot rock climbing wall and indoor track with access to an open rooftop sprint track. The roof will also host the university’s special events.
Besides the largest rock climbing wall on any Utah university campus, the Human Performance Center also has an Olympic-sized swimming pool with 750 seats for members of the audience. The pool area also includes adjustable lanes that are expected to host high school and college swim meets.
Student body president Taylor Godfrey echoed students’ excitement to enjoy one of the largest buildings on campus. The Human Performance Center is a facility that promotes actively working to better one’s mental and physical health and offers an array of activities for students with varying interests.
“This building embodies the spirit of Dixie State students and what ‘active learning, active life’ truly means,” she said.
Following the ceremony, the university offered tours of the facility with refreshments from the building’s café. Monday evening, administrators will welcome the community back through the doors during a concert on the roof beginning at 6 p.m.
The center will reopen its doors to the public Thursday, marking the first annual community day from 3-9 p.m. The community will have the opportunity to participate in a number of activities in DSU’s newest building, including swimming, rock climbing and exercise classes.
The annual community event, however, will be the only time that community members will be allowed into the building apart from sporting events and showcases. Stacy Schmidt, public relations coordinator at Dixie State, told St. George News the university wants the building to belong to the students, and for this reason, has decided not to sell memberships to the community.
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