NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana unveiled another athletics facility Wednesday when it introduced its Fitness Center.

At 12:13 p.m., retiring president Dr. Norman C. Francis cut the ribbon at the front entrance of the newly built $3.6 million facility, which is located at the corner of Drexel Drive and South Clark Street — between the Living Learning Center and St. Martin de Porres Hall, Xavier’s two largest student residences. The Fitness Center is on the site of the former B. Samuels building, which Xavier purchased and demolished.

The facility will be open to XU students, faculty and staff. Through July 3, the Fitness Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 4-11 p.m., Friday from 4-10 p.m. and closed during the weekend. Hours of operation will be expanded beginning July 6. Beginning in the fall 2015 semester, XU faculty and staff will pay to use the Fitness Center.

The first floor of the two-story facility offers an NCAA/NAIA regulation-sized basketball court, an office, a lounging area and an area with free weights and weight machines. The second floor consists of a three-lane walking/running track, a cardio room, spin studio and other multifunctional studios. State-of-the-art exercise machines will be available throughout the facility.

The basketball court will be mostly used for intramural events such as basketball and volleyball, large exercise classes, fitness activities, yoga, dance and Zumba classes. The court can be divided with a retractable curtain to offer multiple activities simultaneously.

“The opening of this much-requested new facility on campus has generated a great deal of interest from faculty, staff and especially students,” said Francis, who will retire June 30 after 47 years as president. “It will provide the Xavier community with a safe, convenient and comfortable state-of-the-art facility in which to pursue their individual health and wellness goals.”

This is the fourth XU athletics facility to open in three years. During the fall of 2012, Xavier opened the Convocation Center — a multipurpose facility which seats nearly 4,000 as the home of XU basketball and volleyball — the Convocation Center Annex and the XU Tennis Center.

Courtesy: Xavier Athletics


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