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New Fitness Center Opens Doors to UK Community

By Kelley Bozeman


President Todd, Frankie Johnson (Bernard Johnson's wife), Candy Mullins (Johnson’s daughter) and Director of Campus Recreation Bill Pieratt

The center was developed as a valuable tool to students: central to the educational mission of the university and promoting active, healthy lifestyle choices. It is viewed as a way to recruit and retain students and employees, develop leadership and employment opportunities for students, and promote wellness and fitness as a way of life.

 

Jan. 15, 2003 (Lexington, Ky.) -- With much anticipation and eagerness, the University of Kentucky Bernard M. Johnson Student Recreation Center officially opened to the UK community on Wednesday, Jan. 15.

The center broke ground in August 2000 and provides UK a long overdue modern recreation and workout facility covering 87,000 square feet on two levels adjacent to the Seaton Center.

The center was developed as a valuable tool to students: central to the educational mission of the university and promoting active, healthy lifestyle choices. It is viewed as a way to recruit and retain students and employees, develop leadership and employment opportunities for students, and promote wellness and fitness as a way of life.

“The Johnson Center is a wonderful, safe place for students, faculty and staff to come and make positive, healthy use of their leisure time,” Campus Recreation Director Bill Pieratt said. “It will improve student satisfaction and morale, while also aiding in recruitment and retention.”

Constructed entirely with funds from student fees at a cost of $15.3 million, the Johnson Center provides numerous areas for activities. It houses two aerobics studios; a multi-purpose gymnasium with four basketball courts; an elevated, four-lane jogging track and stretching area; a climbing wall; four racquetball courts; and two levels of fitness/weight training.

“This is a state-of-the-art facility,” Pieratt said. “It provides generous amounts of natural light in a bright, inviting atmosphere. The amenities include the latest in fitness and recreation related equipment.”

The building was named after the “founding father” of the Department of Campus Recreation, Bernard “Skeeter” Johnson. Johnson served as department director from 1969 to 1982 after beginning his career at UK as an instructor in the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation in 1946. Before joining UK, Johnson also received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the university.

“A life-long promoter of physical education and recreation, Johnson’s boundless enthusiasm and dedication touched and influenced the lives of countless students, faculty and staff,” Pieratt added. “He was truly a fitness pioneer.”

Johnson died in 2001.

Though mainly a student facility, the Johnson Center also is available to all faculty, staff, Donovan Scholars, retirees and VA employees on a year or semester membership basis. Free to students enrolled at UK or Lexington Community College, a yearly membership costs $150 for others. Fees for semester-long memberships are as follows:
Faculty/Staff/VA employees
$60 fall and spring semesters
$20 four-week summer session
$40 eight-week summer session
Retirees/Donovan Scholars $50 fall and spring semesters
$15 four-week summer session
$35 eight-week summer session

Memberships may be purchased in the Campus Recreation office, 177 Johnson Center Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. For more information on facilities and memberships, call 257-2898 or visit www.uky.edu/studentaffairs/campusrec.


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