CENTERS at Jacksonville State University

In response to a University initiative to enhance the quality of campus life, in July 2017, Jacksonville State University (JSU) retained CENTERS, LLC (CENTERS) to take over the management of the university’s indoor and outdoor recreational facilities and all associated programing and services. The Initiative began a year earlier with the commencement of a planning process for a new campus fitness and wellness center. CENTERS was part of the planning team and was directly involved with all aspects of the financial and physical planning of the project. In January, 2017 the JSU Board of Trustees approved a plan to build a 103,000 square foot fitness and wellness center through a public private partnership with the JSU Foundation. The approval was comprehensive in nature and only stipulated that the building had to be completed within the capital limits supported by a $190 per semester student fee and through a process that delivered the building by January 2019. As part of that approval, the entire project team was approved including CENTERS as the operator for the new building and all associated programs and services.

When the project was approved, it was originally determined that CENTERS would not start actively managing programs and services on behalf of the campus until the new building opened but, as the planning process continued, it became clear that the University had much to gain by CENTERS taking over the management of the existing facilities as soon as possible. To seamlessly accommodate the operational transition from the current facilities to the new fitness and wellness center, the JSU Foundation, with no previous fitness / wellness operating experience or expertise, signed a services agreement with the University and retained CENTERS to deliver on its contractual requirements. CENTERS management agreement was designed to not only accommodate the significant change in physical assets represented by the new building, but also any year to years changes in requirements that may occur between the University and the Foundation. The range of experiences and circumstances that CENTERS manages throughout its portfolio of sites and its skill in detailed business planning supported the legal team’s ability to craft agreements that protected all parties within a very flexible construct that will stand the test of time, or at least though the duration of the 45 year ground lease.

CENTERS operating imperatives during this important pre-opening period include changing the campus culture around engaging in fitness activities, intramurals and sport clubs, implementing a culture of performance among the professional staff, modernize all programs processes and policies, procurement of all new equipment for the new building, create a new student development model for student employees, expand the staff in preparation for the new building and continue to participate in supporting the Foundation’s decision making with respect to the design and construction of the new facility.

Campus Website

Fact Sheet (PDF)