In 1994 the Student Government Association approved an increase in student fees to sponsor a new UNCW Student Recreation Center, causing some controversy because the students funding the project would graduate before its completion. However, with much appreciation to all UNCW students and alumni, the university moved the project forward and construction began in September of 1998.
The $7.3 million state-of-the-art facility replaced Hanover Hall gym as the Recreation Center on campus, providing 2.5 times the space and countless upgrades. Highlights included a new fitness center, three courts, a 28-foot climbing wall, and an elevated track. The new center also housed administration offices, a training room, and a discovery center. The Rec Center offered 17-hour-a-day access instead of the 7 hours available at the Hanover gym.
The Hundley Education Resource Center moved into the Rec Center featuring interactive health software and a variety of academic classes on living a healthy lifestyle.
UNCW students, staff, faculty, alumni, and other community members joined Chancellor James R. Leutze and Campus Recreation for the opening celebration. The UNCW pep band and dance team performed, and the Seahawk mascot mingled with guests while UNCW students gathered with their scissors for the ribbon cutting.
"Plans revealed for student rec center," UNCW Magazine, Spring/Summer 1997
"Student recreation center opens for business," Seahawk student newspaper, April 26, 2000