Times Record:

By Thomas Saccente

The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith officially opened its new recreation and wellness center with a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday.

Students, educators and members of the community gathered at 3 p.m. Monday to celebrate the completion of the project, a brand new, 47,000-square-foot recreation and wellness center on the UAFS campus at the corner of Kinkead Avenue and North 51st Street. Guests were allowed to partake in free refreshments and tour the new facility, which includes a rock climbing wall, a fitness space, a recreational lobby area and basketball and volleyball courts, as well as additional rooms for multipurpose use.

UAFS Chancellor Paul B. Beran said the center, which cost about $11 million, is an asset to the UAFS campus in many ways.

"Health and education are inextricably related, and study after study linked wellness with the ability to get the most out of our lives and maximize our intellectual pursuits," Beran said. "We're an institution that wants to pride ourselves on educating the whole student, and a major component of that process lies in health and wellness. To truly prepare students for successful lives, a university must do more than simply educate and stimulate students' minds. It must instill healthy habits that they will carry with them long after they graduate. ..."

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