The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith’s state-of-the-art Recreation and Wellness Center will be celebrated during a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3 p.m. Aug. 22 on the UAFS campus.

The event, which is free and open to the public, offers the community an opportunity to tour the center and see its amenities, including a rock climbing wall, an expanded fitness space, a recreational lobby area, basketball and volleyball courts, and additional rooms for multipurpose use. The center is located at the corner of Kinkead Ave. and North 51st St., and free food and beverages will be provided during the event.

The 47,000 square-foot building was constructed following a vote from the university’s student body to self-impose a student activity fee to fund a new fitness center. The university broke ground on the structure in the spring of 2015.

Meighan Pendergrass, director of campus recreation and wellness, said students will be “wowed” by the new facility.

“The Recreation and Wellness staff are so excited to welcome students to the new center on August 22,” Pendergrass said. “Students will be wowed by the features of the new facility. Right when they walk in the door they will be greeted by a 35-foot climbing wall and 15-foot bouldering wall. We are thrilled to be able to make this facility a reality for our students.”

Dr. Paul B. Beran, UAFS chancellor, said the center is a welcome addition to campus.

“The Recreation and Wellness Center is an important addition to our campus. We are excited to open such a state-of-the-art facility for our campus community because emphasizing fitness and wellness makes UAFS an institution that educates the whole student,” Beran said. “Study after study link the ability to maximize intellectual pursuits with wellness. The students, staff and faculty who use this new facility are creating lifelong health habits that can lower illness and enhance critical and creative thinking.”

For more information on the ribbon cutting, contact Pendergrass at 479-788-7596 or Meighan.pendergrass@uafs.edu.