LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Students at the University of Louisville will soon be able to enjoy a new recreation center.

More than $37 million has been invested in the new facility that will provide 128,000 square feet of new recreational sports space for the U of L students.

We spoke with Dale Ramsay, U of L's director of intramural sports, about the facility's state-of- the-art amenities.

"This is just an unbelievable facility," Ramsay said. "We have six basketball courts. We have two weight rooms totaling 16,000 square feet," Ramsay said.

  • A MAC (Multi-purpose Athletic Court)
  • 3 group fitness and aerobics studios of various sizes, one of which is equipped for spin and TRX training classes
  • Fitness lab for personal fitness evaluations
  • 3 Racquetball courts, one of which is convertible to squash
  • Indoor golf simulator featuring 85 courses and putting surface
  • A Sport Club Room featuring padded and wood floor areas for martial arts practice
  • An outdoor turf field roughly the size of a football field with grass berm seating
  • A gaming area featuring Xbox, Wii, Nintendo and PlayStation video stations
  • A small cafe is included, ZeBi bistro service, featuring wraps, Panini sandwiches, and smoothies etc.

Ramsay says the new facility "will change student life on the campus for generations to come."

The students came up with the idea for the new facility to keep U of L in step with comparable universities across the country.

"We owe a great deal to our student government who made this a priority," Ramsay said. "And we've included them in every decision that we've made from the equipment to the hours that the facility is open. So this truly is a student recreation center."

Classes at U of L start Monday, and this year's freshman class is said to be one of the biggest in history -- and the students are among the best and the brightest.

A total of 2,868 freshmen students are enrolled this year, up 200 from last year. Of those, 20 are National Merit Scholars and 180 are Governor's Scholars.

U of L President Dr. James Ramsey says the school's focus is on quality, not quantity, so it stopped accepting new students in May.

"We're proud of the fact that [the student body] is prepared academically -- ACT scores, grade point average, Governor's Scholars," Ramsey said. "Any way you want to look at it, this is a great freshman class."

Ramsey says the school's successful sports program attracts students from across the country, serving as a calling card.

"It gives us a platform to really sell the University of Louisville," Ramsey said. "Not just to students but to donors."

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