Eastern Michigan University Rec/IM Building reopens, featuring attractive workout areas, vastly improved sightlines and special commons and social areas

The newly-renovated interior of the Rec/IM Levels 1 and 2 with open clean space and natural light

YPSILANTI –The Eastern Michigan University Rec/IM Building, which has been undergoing an extensive renovation this past year, has reopened this month as an exceptional and revitalized facility that will support the health and wellness of students, faculty and staff.

Levels 1 and 2 are now open. Those areas are the visual centerpiece of the renovation, featuring improved sightlines, gathering space and much improved cardiovascular and weight training areas, gaming tables, and a commons area. Levels 3-5, which include the basketball courts, the indoor track and other social areas, will open at a later date.

“The newly renovated Rec/IM will serve as a focal point for the EMU community,” said Justin Jett, director of the Rec/IM. “The space will provide opportunities for students, faculty and staff to improve their physical and mental wellbeing. 

“It will also serve as a social hub for students to interact, relax and study when time permits.  In the first week of reopening, we received nothing but positive feedback from students, and they are clearly looking forward to enjoying the renovated space while receiving a quality education here at EMU.”   

Newly-renovated exterior of Rec/IM building
The Robb/Olds Rec/IM Building was originally opened in 1982 as a state of the art facility at the time, but had not received any major improvements other than routine maintenance since its original construction.

Striking outside views and improved connectivity of spaces

 The overall goal of the project has been to improve the look, feel and utility of the building. Renovation priorities include the following:

• Enhanced access, including rebuilding of the main entry from the east, and constructing a new entry from the north, with striking views of the lakes and the EMU Student Center.

• Enhanced interactivity and connectivity of interior spaces and better exterior views, offering energizing sightlines conducive to exercise and well-being.

• Larger exercise, fitness and student collaboration spaces.

• Improved gaming, recreational and study areas.

In compliance with government and public health department guidance regarding gyms and fitness centers, the Rec/IM will operate at 25 percent occupancy for all open areas, and staff will monitor and enforce these capacity limits.

Visitors to the Rec/IM will be expected to follow safety measures, such as passing the University’s daily health screening process before being permitted to enter the facility, wiping down equipment before and after using it, wearing a face covering. and maintaining physical distancing from others in the building.

Patrons should arrive at the facility ready for their activity, as changing spaces and showers are closed, with the exception of swimming pools.

Extensive fitness and wellness programs underway

In addition to the reopening, a comprehensive effort to provide ongoing health, fitness and wellness programming, online and safe in-person (outdoor for example) has been underway throughout the summer and fall semesters. This schedule is being updated on a regular basis with new health, fitness and wellness programs, and can be found along with other information at the Rec/IM website. For specific questions about the opening, you can email Justin Jett at jjett@emich.edu.

The $16 million Rec/IM construction and renovation project is being financed through a student recreation fee, proposed by EMU student leaders after initial studies and input that began in 2014 before being approved by students in 2017.

The Robb/Olds Rec/IM Building was originally opened in 1982 as a state of the art facility at the time, but had not received any major improvements other than routine maintenance since its original construction.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves nearly 18,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

October 14, 2020

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Media Contact:
Geoff Larcom