Humana Gym U of L photo

The University of Louisville will close Humana Gym, an employee fitness center, on June 30. (U of L photo)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Citing budget constraints, the University of Louisville will close Humana Gym, its employee fitness center, to save $1 million a year, the university said in a campus-wide message on Thursday.

The university also laid off Patricia Benson, the director of its Get Healthy Now employee wellness program, and moved the program's other employees to the Human Resources department, U of L spokesman John Karman confirmed. The wellness program continues, Karman said.

The university said in the unsigned message that faculty and staff can get discounted memberships of $15 per month at Planet Fitness, an athletics program sponsor, or join the Student Recreation Center for $24 a month. The Humana Gym costs $15 a month, according to the message.

Humana Gym, at 601 Presidents Boulevard, will close June 30.

The move was announced on the same day the university's board of trustees raised the compensation of U of L President Neeli Bendapudi by 12 percent to $875,000 a year. As part of the justification for the raise, trustees cited improvement in U of L's finances relative to when Bendapudi started a year ago.

Here is the campus message:

Faculty and Staff,

The University of Louisville has reached an agreement with Planet Fitness to extend discount memberships for faculty and staff. Planet Fitness, which has a sponsorship agreement with UofL Athletics, is offering its deluxe membership, known as a “black card,” to UofL faculty and staff for $15 per month, effective immediately. This is a discount of $7.99 per month and is the same fee currently charged to faculty and staff who use the Humana Gym.

The membership includes unlimited visits to any of Planet Fitness’s 1,700 facilities, including the Central Station location; the ability to bring a guest for free and many other benefits. Most clubs are open 24/7. Planet Fitness also offers a $10 monthly plan that is restricted to one facility and offers fewer benefits. For more information on Planet Fitness memberships, go to:

The offer is effective immediately. To sign up, simply go to a local Planet Fitness location and present your UofL ID and checking account information.

Planet Fitness will replace Humana Gym as the “home” facility for Belknap Campus employees. As UofL continues to address its budget issues, closing Humana Gym will save the university more than $1 million per year. Humana Gym will close on June 30. The Health Sciences Center fitness center will remain open and on its current schedule.

Faculty and staff who wish to continue membership in a Belknap Campus facility can join the Student Recreation Center (SRC) for $24/month. For more information, go to:

Wellness program will continue under HR leadership

The university’s wellness program, Get Healthy Now, has been a very popular benefit for faculty and staff, and the university will continue it under the Human Resources department. Also continuing will be the health management programs in asthma, COPD, diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol currently offered through UofL Physicians. Both the wellness and health management programs have been successful in improving employees’ health and driving down the cost of the university’s health insurance plan.

We will provide more information on the location of the wellness programs and on any updates soon.

The Humana Gym location has served the university well. We look forward to continuing to offer these important programs through Human Resources and through our new partnership with Planet Fitness.

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822,, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2019 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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Chris Otts reports for about business and economic topics, higher education and local / state government. He joined WDRB News in 2013 after seven years with The Courier-Journal. Got a tip? Chris is at 502-585-0822 and