The University Recreation Center celebrated its 10th anniversary with free food, class giveaways, massages and more Monday.
The event celebrated the Rec Center's opening day on January 27, 2003, and allowed patrons to enter a raffle for an iPad Mini, personal training packages, free massages, group exercise classes and commemorative anniversary gear.
SuperFrog also made an appearance to hand out free Toppers Pizza and hang out with students in attendance throughout the day.
The Rec Center began as a $30 million project back in 2001, Steve Kintigh,director of Campus Recreation, said.
He said the old building, which was built in 1972, was developed with a focus on physical education rather than recreation, and cost $3 million to build.
Kintigh, who has been with the Rec Center for 29 years, said he has seen the facility constantly evolve throughout the years.
“The day I was hired, I asked [my co-workers], ‘When are we going to build a new building?’” he said. “That was 1984.”
Kintigh said the current building is four times bigger featuring a more open concept with more basketball courts, a larger weight room and upgraded equipment.
Junior psychology major Antoinette Gatson, a self-described Rec Center regular, said she comes back every day for more reasons than the equipment.
“TCU itself is just a wonderful university, and this rec center can offer more than words can even describe,” she said. “It’s more than a workout experience. It’s overall fitness, a lifestyle.”
Gatson, a transfer student, said the TCU Rec Center is better than any gym she has seen. She said she has a membership to 24 Hour Fitness but chooses to come to the university Rec Center for the friendly and welcoming environment.
Graduate student and Rec Center employee Robin Boeker also said the personality of the facility, its employees and its involvement in the community is what keeps its patrons coming back.
“I know a lot of the facilities don’t let the communities be involved, so just involving the different diverse patrons coming into the fitness center keeps people interested in the facility,” she said.
Kintigh also stressed the importance of diversity at the Rec Center and said it was what kept him going every day.
“Sport has always been a great equalizer,” he said. “Every group of every kind – faculty, staff, old, young, Hispanic, whatever–are all gathered here in the Rec Center all the time.”
As for the future of the Rec Center, Cristie Carpenter, the associate director of programs, said she would like to see intramurals evolve, including the intramural field as well as developments with the indoor and outdoor pools and the possibility of a university natatorium.
Kintigh also said he would like to see a redesign of the front lobby and the weight room, but he sees the current Rec Center as a state-of-the-art facility for the constantly growing student body.