CENTERS at DePaul University

In 1993, following a detailed study of campus recreation needs, CENTERS produced an operational review and implementation plan that consisted of a comprehensive industry best practices review, a pre-opening project time-line, development of standard operating procedures, and a staffing plan. The team also assisted the university during the design with FF&E specification and design review services. The $15 million recreation center, named the Ray Meyer Fitness and Recreation Center, opened in the fall of 1999. In December 2000, the project received a Facility of Merit award from Athletic Business magazine.

Inside the first-floor lobby, visitors in the juice bar and lounge are offered views into the racquetball courts and the cardiovascular and weight areas that fill the second floor. Visitors can also walk through the locker areas to the 25-yard pool. The second floor provides 12,500 square feet of weight and fitness equipment as well as four group fitness studios. The gymnasium and two multipurpose rooms are located on the third floor, with a suspended track above that provides expansive views of the Chicago skyline designed to celebrate the university’s connection with the city. All areas are flooded with natural light from walls of glass on every level.

Initially the project was envisioned as being 100% funded by donations, but the CENTERS team showed the university how a robust membership program for alumni and community residents would allow it to adopt a robust financial model that would generate substantial revenue support for operating the facility and enable the building to open much sooner. As the selected management company, CENTERS delivered on that premise by generating $2 million in the first year, and continues to exceed the annual financial goals.

CENTERS continues to manage the facility and offers a comprehensive schedule of fitness and recreation activities, including group fitness classes, fitness services, wellness classes, instructional programs, outdoor adventures, team challenge, intramural sports, club sports, and special events. CENTERS’ staff quickly developed a successful, seamless integration with DePaul’s campus culture. The department is well-regarded on campus for its student development model, its high-quality customer service, and its positive contributions on campus. All of the policies and procedures for the delivery of a comprehensive campus recreation program, membership services, and facility management were created for DePaul’s unique operation.

To view a facility tour of the Ray Meyer Fitness and Recreation Center, please click here.

Success Stories

CENTERS accommodates over 2,600 community and alumni members from Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood / DePaul campus. Such efforts exceed customer service expectations of these membership groups, creating unique opportunities for our staff to test and constantly refine our customer service principles.
For the first time in the history of the university, a comprehensive schedule of fitness and recreation activities is being offered. The facility has exceeded performance expectations since the first year of business plan implementation, and CENTERS’ staff members have developed a successful, seamless integration with DePaul’s campus culture.
To help build a collaborative campus community, several members of CENTERS’ staff are seminar facilitators for the Student Leadership Institute, staff instructors for the first-year student experience classes (Discover Chicago), instructors for the physical education department, advisors for graduate students in the School of New Learning, and staff mentors for the Student Affairs’ student leadership retreat.