Construction begins on UBC’s Recreation Centre North

The new facility will feature three gyms, an indoor track, and a state-of-the-art fitness centre.

Construction is underway on a new recreation centre that will triple the amount of indoor fitness and recreation space at UBC’s Vancouver campus.

Recreation Centre North, located in the heart of campus, will feature an indoor floor area of 101,000 sq. ft. spread over four levels and will include three gymnasium courts, an elevated 200-metre indoor track, and more than 40,000 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art fitness and multipurpose studio space.

The facility demonstrates UBC’s commitment to wellbeing by meeting the growing need from our community members for more recreation and gym space.

“We are thrilled to be breaking ground on the new recreation centre for UBC’s Vancouver campus,” says Kavie Toor, managing director of UBC Athletics and Recreation. “Demand for recreation and fitness access at UBC is at an all-time high. The new facility not only supports students’ fitness and wellbeing goals, but it also provides them with a space to prioritize their mental and physical health while they are pursuing their academic achievements.”

Designed by SHAPE Architecture, the new building will be located immediately north of the UBC Life Building (formerly the Student Union Building) and at the west end of Student Union Boulevard.

The facility will be seamlessly integrated with the UBC Life and Student Services Hub, and will include an outdoor walkway corridor at ground level to allow foot traffic to readily flow through the area. In addition to fitness space, the building will also include multipurpose rooms, universal and gender-specific change areas, and administrative offices.

Recreation Centre North will also be constructed to a LEED Gold green building standard and is Rick Hansen Foundation Certified.

Planning for Recreation Centre North first emerged from the UBC GamePlan: 20-year Recreation and Athletics Facilities Strategy, which involved public consultation and was approved by the Board of Governors in April 2017. The Recreation Centre North project received conditional Board 3 approval from the UBC Board of Governors in June 2022.

The cost of the project is $67.5 million, which is supported by contributions from Alma Mater Society (AMS) student fees, donors, and UBC. UBC is continuing to raise $5 million to support the construction of the new recreation centre. For more information on fundraising efforts and how to make a donation, click here.

“Recreation is so important for student health and wellbeing on campus,” says AMS President Eshana Bhangu. “As the largest contributor to the project, we are so happy to see the new rec centre become a reality and can’t wait for the doors to open for students in 2024.”

“UBC students made clear their support for this project by pledging $22.5 million towards the overall project,” adds Kavie Toor. “This project has been a long time coming and we are grateful to our students and the entire UBC community for helping bring this vision to life.”

Construction is expected to finish in late 2024.

Wide-angle shot of the construction site of Recreation Centre North
Construction is underway for Recreation Centre North, located immediately north of the UBC Life Building (formerly the Student Union Building). Photo by Steve Kennedy.