CENTERS at University of Missouri–St. Louis

A leading public research university in the Midwest, the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) has continued to expand campus life in recent years. A desire for dedicated recreation space and enhanced student development opportunities were paramount in the construction of an award-winning wellness facility.

Passed by a student referendum in the 2011-2012 academic year by an overwhelming majority of students, the Recreation and Wellness Center (RWC) is a building central to the continued campus development at UMSL. In December 2013, UMSL selected CENTERS, LLC to manage the RWC and its associated staff, budgets, programs, and services. UMSL broke ground on the RWC in November 2013 and opened in July 2015. The RWC includes approximately 100,000 square feet of space for open recreation, intramural sports, and wellness education.

UMSL administration identified several key factors when selecting Centers: developing a central gathering place on campus, alcohol-free social opportunities, stress mitigation, recruitment/retention, leadership and professional development, and long-term financial stability, among others. CENTERS staff used this feedback in forming an actionable business plan and has naturally interwoven it into the daily operations.

Success Stories

Enhanced Student Experience

  • Students who use the facility 32 times or more a semester have an average GPA of 3.18, whereas those who use it less have an average of 2.98, compared to those who do not use it at all have an average of 2.92.
    • 76% said Campus Rec assisted them in developing healthy habits.
    • 65% said Campus Rec provided them with an opportunity to learn a new skill or activity.
    • 4,294 students participated on 576 Intramural teams.

Financial Sustainability

  • RWC Project overall budget savings of $250,000 and put in reserve
  • Reduction of $150,000+ in annual operational expenses through labor negotiated third-party custodial contract, utility, and other cost savings measures
  • Increase of about $150,000 program related (non-student fee) revenue since opening
  • Sustained 1,000+ monthly membership base with dynamic structure: students, faculty/staff and retirees, alumni, community, early bird, student extension, senior, military, community partners, guest pass, and two-week trial memberships.

Project Management

  • Barrier netting added off gym courts to mitigate risk and liability issues
  • Motorized blinds added on windows to improve participants ability to see during activity
Campus Website

Fact Sheet (PDF)


Facility Tour