Menu

VCU Welcomes Back Students with Four New Facilities

Two new recreation centers, a student services center and classroom space debut in the spring semestser

Featured photo
The Cary Street Recreation Center

Students arriving on the Virginia Commonwealth University campuses for the spring semester will enjoy new recreation centers for fitness, relaxation and socializing; a consolidated center for registration, accounting and financial aid; and much-needed additional classroom space.

VCU opened the year with the newly renovated and expanded Cary Street Recreation Center on the Monroe Park Campus and the Jonah L. Larrick Student Center on the MCV Campus. VCU also unveiled the new Student Services Center on the first floor of Harris Hall, which consolidates financial aid, records and registration, student accounts, the cashier’s office and other related services. In addition, the former Ukrop’s grocery store on Grace Street is now “500 Academic Centre,” 33,000 square feet of space that houses six classrooms, a student commons area and stack storage space for the VCU Libraries.

“These new buildings are another example of VCU’s commitment to the student experience,” said Stephen Gottfredson, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

“They touch many aspects of a student’s life, from conducting the business of being a student here to the classroom space in which they learn to the various ways they work out, stay fit and relax.”

Brian J. Ohlinger, associate vice president for facilities management, said “students will experience state-of-the-art comfort and convenience as they go about their lives at VCU.

“The design, construction and attention to detail are top notch, and we’re all very excited for the VCU community to tap into all the new resources available this semester.”

The Cary Street Recreation Center
This facility occupies the old City Auditorium building and is 150,000 square feet of renovation combined with a large addition that features two heated pools, one for lap swimming and activity and another for leisure, replete with giant water slide. There also is a large, multiperson whirlpool spa.

Prominent in the center of the main floor is a rock climbing wall with a bouldering/caving wall nearby. There also is an 18,000-square-foot fitness center with cardio, selectorized and free weight equipment that includes flat screen TVs. In addition, there is a four-court gymnasium for basketball, volleyball, table tennis and badminton, and a Multi Activity Center, or MAC, with indoor turf.

The mezzanine level features an indoor running track that overlooks the rock climbing wall and all the activities below. The gym also has space for group exercise classes and racquetball.

The Cary Street Gym cost $47 million and was financed by university funding sources that included student fees. It was renovated and constructed to meet LEED Silver standards for sustainability.

The Larrick Center
This completely rebuilt facility on the MCV campus welcomes visitors to a commons area that includes both a Starbucks and a new culinary emporium -- “Jonah’s” -- which features a wide variety of dining options, including fresh salads, homemade breads, pizzas, comfort foods and decadent desserts.

The Larrick Center also includes new student services space and a renovated and modernized fitness space that includes a nearly 4,000-square-foot expansion. The existing men’s and women’s locker rooms have been renovated. The new main entrance to the MCV Campus Recreation and Aquatic Center is through the Larrick Center.

The Larrick Center project cost $16.9 million and was funded in the same fashion as the Cary Street Gym. It also was constructed and renovated to meet LEED Silver certification for sustainability.

VCU Student Services Center
The new VCU Student Services Center is located on the first floor of Harris Hall, across from the University Student Commons. It consolidates the majority of business transactions for students — financial aid, records and registration, student accounts and the cashier — into one location. A centrally located Help Desk ensures students are accurately guided to the right resource.

500 Academic Centre
VCU’s newest addition of academic space is the building formerly occupied by a Ukrop’s grocery store on Grace Street. The 33,432-square-foot space was renovated into six general-use classrooms with total seating for 434 students. It also features a student commons area with seating for 50 students, a faculty work room and library stack storage for up to 120,000 volumes.

Tom Diehl, director of Recreational Sports, talks about the perks of this 150,000-square foot facility
Multicenters, where all different elements are combined in one space, are the new thing in student centers, says Tim Reed, director of University Student Commons & Activities.
Cary Street Gym. Photo by Tom Kojcsich, VCU Creative Services
Cary Street Gym. Photo by Tom Kojcsich, VCU Creative Services
Entrance to Larrick Center. Photo by Tom Kojcsich, VCU Creative Services
Entrance to Larrick Center. Photo by Tom Kojcsich, VCU Creative Services
Student Services Center. Photo by Tom Kojcsich
Student Services Center. Photo by Tom Kojcsich
500 Academic Centre. Photo by Allen Jones, VCU Creative Services
500 Academic Centre. Photo by Allen Jones, VCU Creative Services