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Introducing the New Bakke Recreation & Wellbeing Center

Jessica Richards

With an impressive 29,000 square feet of fitness space, state-of-the-art sports facilities, and a myriad of exciting amenities, the new Bakke Recreation & Wellbeing Center is set to revolutionize the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. This ambitious project broke ground in April 2021, and after two years of dedicated work, it opened its doors in April 2023 to eager students and the surrounding community.



The journey to this exceptional recreation center began with the original Natatorium, constructed back in the 1960s. While it served as the main hub for student activity, the limited 5,353 sqft. of fitness space called for a significant expansion. In 2012, plans for the transformative new building took shape, aiming to create a modern, inclusive, and vibrant space for students and visitors alike.

The Bakke Recreation & Wellbeing Center boasts an impressive array of amenities, including eight basketball courts, an ice rink, an eight-lane, 25-yard recreational pool, an indoor jogging track, a performance training center, a teaching kitchen, and even sports simulators. This multifaceted approach ensures that individuals with varying interests and fitness goals can find something to engage and inspire them.



Named in honor of lead Jim and Sue Bakke, the center represents the combined effort and dedication of countless individuals who poured their hearts into bringing this vision to life. Upon its grand opening in April 2023, it has already become a gathering place for students and the community to enjoy a wide range of activities, promote wellness, and foster a sense of belonging.

Check out the featured article in the STUFF BizTimes Milwaukee Business News magazine (pg. 14&15).



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May 28, 2024