WSSU's Reaves Center Opens with Huge Fanfare
The ribbon cutting and dedication for the Donald Julian Reaves Student Activities Center was a two-day affair beginning on Friday, September 6, at the entrance of the new building and culminating with a series of events in the Center on Saturday, September 7, starting with a 5k Kick-Off.
The September 6 events, which were free and open to the public, included a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony and was attended by UNC system president Tom Ross, former chancellor Cleon Thompson, Chancellor Donald Julian Reaves, along with a host local and state elected officials and community leaders.
In her remarks to the gathering WSSU Board of Trustees chair Debra Miller said, "I know this building and the amenities it houses will certainly enhance the experience our students have here. From the commuter lounge to the multi-purpose gym, it was designed with students in mind." She added, "I am extremely proud of the facility and look forward to seeing it full of students studying, working on projects, playing basketball, exercising, relaxing, socializing and just thoroughly enjoying the building."
There was a portrait unveiling, free food, fun tours, musical performances, a zumba demonstration, games, giveaways, basketball shooting contests, and weight room events.
The lineup of events on September 7 were highlighted with a 5k Kick-Off (run or walk) and a Zumbathon that followed the 5k Kick-Off in the Center's gymnasium. The public, especially WSSU faculty, staff and students, were urged to participate in the fun-filled events. Other events included a Mini Health Fair which featured parfait, smoothie and power bar stations, and a juice bar and fresh fruit. The fair also included fitness assessment and analysis, an orientation, health screenings, fitness tests and more by the WSSU School of Health Sciences. The series of events culminated with live music and a Greek step show billed as Yard Fest.
The center is a combination of a student union and a recreational facility. The $25 million facility is approximately 95,000 square-feet and has three levels.
The first floor consists of the food court, dining area, a multi-purpose gymnasium, which includes two basketball courts and an equipment check-out area. The food court will host four vendors, which include: Subway, Topio's Pizza, Burger Studio and Popeye's Chicken. The dining area will be larger than the existing one in the Ram Shack. There is an additional courtside dining area that gives a direct view of the basketball courts. This allows students to interact and watch basketball while eating.
Several Student Affairs administration offices and Campus Activities Board offices, which were in the Thompson Center, are relocated to the second floor of the new facility. The second floor also has a lounge with a fireplace, locker rooms, game rooms and a space available for a future barber/beauty salon. The third floor contains a commuter lounge, two group exercise rooms and a running track.
Each level of this new facility has a fitness area. The facility will have a separate area for lifting weights, cardio and fitness evaluation, compared to the current fitness center in the Thompson Center, which has a capacity level for just 15 students. The first floor will have a capacity for 95 students, the second floor a capacity for 55 students and the third floor, a capacity for 22 students.
The center features a long staircase that runs from the first floor up to the third. There are several entrances to the building with doors to enter from each level. The building is connected to the breezeway of the Thompson Center and features a seating area outside where students can socialize and interact.
The building is filled with large windows, making it easy to see what students are doing in other rooms and on other floors. There are great views inside and outside as well. From the jogging track on the third floor, there is a view as far as the Winston Tower in downtown Winston-Salem on one side. On the other side is a view beyond Bowman Gray field house and other landscapes. Looking over the railings of the track is the multi-purpose gymnasium on the first floor.