Wellness and Recreation Center

Carmichael Wellness and Recreation Center rendering

Since 1961, the Carmichael Gymnasium has served the recreation, fitness and wellness needs of the Wolfpack community. This storied space has evolved with an expansion in 1987, the Recreation Center addition in 2007, renovation of locker rooms and fitness areas in 2016 and the upcoming Addition and Renovation Project.

The program spaces within the Carmichael are not sized appropriately to support the current or projected growth for recreational spaces. In addition, the existing building does not comply with accessibility or electrical system requirements and contains asbestos. The addition will also require renovations to approximately 1,000 sq. ft. of adjacent Carmichael Gym facility for accessibility and connectivity. The project relocates an existing campus steam line and includes a new fire suppression alarm system and sprinklers throughout the existing Gym.

Project Goals

  • Creates a centralized hub of recreation and wellness for campus.
  • Creates primary access point by connecting the Gym and Recreation Center.
  • Provides additional 20,000-square-feet of much-needed fitness space. Specific spaces include additional fitness centers (informal strength and conditioning), functional training space, performance studios, small group training and multipurpose spaces.
  • Creates new recreation space that will include: state-of-the-art climbing center dedicated for recreational use, wellness space, teaching kitchen and more.
  • Addresses more than $7.5 million of deferred maintenance project and failing infrastructure.
  • Addresses significant health, safety and code deficiencies, including ADA accessibility.
Wellness and Recreation Center

More than a Gym

Learn how the Wellness and Recreation Center will transform health and well-being on campus.

Explore the Wellness and Recreation Center

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Reynolds Coliseum

Cates Avenue

Project Timeline

NOTE: Dates are an estimation and are subject to change.

Exterior Construction Timeline

Date Milestone
May 2018 Demolition of existing building begins
August – November 2018 New utility steam tunnel constructed through the existing site
November 2018 Basement backfill of site
December 2018 Utility shutdown and complete new ultility tie-in
January – February 2019 Complete demolition of existing breezeway and installation of building footings and foundation.
March – May 2019 Steel arrives and framing begins
May – June 2019 Concrete floors are poured
June – November 2019 Exterior walls are installed (brick, curtain wall, storefront glass, doors, etc.)
December 2019 Roof installed and building envelope sealed

Interior Construction Timeline

Date Milestone
July – October 2019 Rough-in mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP) and fire sprinklers installed
July – September 2019 Interior stud framing
December 2019 – January 2020 Drywall installed
February – March 2020 Paint, tile, lights, doors and hardware installed
April 2020 Carpet and flooring installed
May – June 2020 Verify work is complete designated by punchlist process
July – August 2020 Inspections
September 2020 Furniture installation and equipment move-in
October 2020 Facility opens

Project Renderings

Updated August 2018



Facility Features

82,823 sq. ft | $45 million project

8,000 sq. ft. Functional Training Area
12,000 sq. ft. Fitness Center Space
New recreation spaces that include: rock wall, wellness space, teaching kitchen, additional fitness spaces, etc.
Small Group/Personal Training Space
Multipurpose Rooms (replace existing)
Storage and Administrative (replace existing)
Carmichael Gym Code and Infrastructure Upgrades

Project Open Forums and Design Updates

Throughout the design process, architects will present updates and site analysis progress to the university community for continued dialogue and feedback. Here are the dates and times for these open forums:

Date Time Location
Thursday, December 15, 2016 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. Carmichael Recreation Center Playzone, Room 1601
Wednesday, January 11, 2017 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. Carmichael Gym, Room 2015
Thursday, February 9, 2017 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. Carmichael Recreation Center Playzone, Room 1601
Thursday, April 13, 2017 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. Carmichael Recreation Center Playzone, Room 1601
Wednesday, June 14, 2017 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Carmichael Gym, Classroom 2037
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Carmichael Gym, Classroom 2037
Wednesday, July 26, 2017 Campus Design Review Panel
Tuesday, August 8, 2017 Building Committee Meeting
Wednesday, September 6, 2017 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Carmichael Recreation Center Playzone, Room 1601
Wednesday, October 4, 2017 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Carmichael Recreation Center Playzone, Room 1601
Wednesday, October 25, 2017 Campus Design Review Panel
Wednesday, March 14, 2018 Student Senate Update
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Carmichael Recreation Center Playzone, Room 1601

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Stay updated with the project through our email communication.

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Financial Strategy

Throughout the master planning process, it was important to develop a strategy that minimized the financial impact of all facility projects on student fees.

The Addition and Renovation Project capital debt fee will be implemented Fall 2016 when the $45 per year Recreation Center capital debt fee was paid in full. The new $92.50 per year fee resulted in an increase of $47.50 in Carmichael capital debt fees to fund the project.

In ​the Fall 2015, Wellness and Recreation and student leaders worked collaboratively to prepare a formal recommendation to the Fee Review Committee.

On September 30, 2015, the Student Government Senate passed the Carmichael Addition and Renovation Fee Act supporting the indebtedness fee of $92.50 ($47.50 increase) that will fund the 82,823 sq. ft. project starting 2016-17. The support of the indebtedness fee is contingent upon the Division of Academic and Student Affairs agreeing to the following:

  • Students will be involved in every step of the planning and completion of the Carmichael Addition and Renovation project.
  • Reductions in the cost of the project due to changing interest rates, fundraising efforts, reduction of project scope or any other reason will be passed on to student in the form of the reduction of the student fee for the remainder of the fee’s term.
  • The cost of membership for non-student members of Carmichael Complex is increased to equal the cost of student fees, including indebtedness fees, paid to Wellness and Recreation once the project is completed.

The indebtedness fee of $92.50 ($47.50 increase) to fund the 82,823 sq. ft. project was presented to the Fee Review Committee in October 2015.

Visioning Sessions and Carmichael BIG IDEAS Survey

On November 9, 2016 NC State and the project architects hosted four visioning sessions with students, faculty, staff, and others to solicit ideas and feedback about the Carmichael Addition and Renovation Project. You can find presentation materials and themes of the sessions here.

In advance of the visioning sessions, the Carmichael BIG IDEAS survey was shared to more than 10,000 students, faculty, staff, alumni, retirees and more to solicit additional ideas and feedback. The executive summary of results can be found here.

Student Voices Shaping the Project – How We Got Here

In Spring 2015, NC State hired HOK Architects, a leading collegiate recreation and wellness architecture firm to review, verify and update the project space planning assumptions and student needs.

During this study, University Recreation (UREC) informed, engaged and invited the campus community to participate in project visioning sessions facilitated by the architects in February 2015. UREC staff presented the project to Student Senate, President Roundtable, University Graduate Student Association, Inter-Residence Council, UREC Advisory Board and other student leadership organizations requesting their participation and feedback in visioning sessions. Through these sessions and meetings with campus stakeholders renderings and project funding options were developed.

Click here for complete HOK Carmichael Complex Addition and Renovation Study.

Visioning – Spring 2015
  • The Carmichael Addition and Renovation project will shape the future of wellness and wellbeing on campus by unifying, celebrating and inspiring active lifestyles of NC State students, faculty, and staff.
  • The success of the project begins with a clear primary entry that is inviting and inspiring. It must strive to unify the fitness space, increase visual access to destinations, and amplify street presence. The solution must be accessible, sensible, smart, sensitive to student fees and attentive to student safety.
Recreation and Wellness Survey – Spring 2015

The NASPA Recreation and Wellness benchmark survey was administered to 7,500 NC State students (20% response rate) in February 2015.

  • 92% of students identified that improved recreation and fitness facilities are a “medium to high” priority in the next 5-10 years at NC State University.
  • 71% of students determined that it would be “moderately to very helpful” toward their personal well-being to have access to health and wellness resources in one location (e.g., nutrition, physical activity, counseling services, career, financial).

View the complete 2015 Recreation and Wellness Survey results.

Project Timeline

September 2015Student leaders, Wellness and Recreation staff and University administrators worked collaboratively to examine, debate and recommend the best approach to proceed with the project and related indebtedness fee.
September 30, 2015Student Government passed a resolution to support the indebtedness fee of $92.50 ($47.50 increase) to fund the 82,823 sq. ft. project.
October 13, 2015Student Government and Wellness and Recreation leaders presented the project to the Fee Review Committee. Fee Review Committee unanimously voted to approve the project as proposed by Student Senate resolution.
November 12, 2015Chancellor Woodson and Fee Review Committee recommendation presented to NC State Board of Trustees University Affairs Committee for consideration.
November 13, 2015NC State Board of Trustees unanimously approved project and made recommendation to the University of North Carolina Board of Governors (BOG) for consideration.
January 21, 2016Chancellor Woodson presented project to BOG Committee on Budget and Finance.
April 15, 2016Board of Governors approves project and votes on Tuition & Fees for the 2016-17 year.
July 2016State budget approved
August – September 2016Architect Selection Process
October 2016CRA Architects and HOK Architects selected to lead design of project
Fall 2016 – Fall 2017Design
June 2018 – Summer 2020Construction
Fall 2020Project Completion

Frequently Asked Questions

Why now?

With more than $7.5 million worth of deferred maintenance and failing infrastructure the Carmichael east wing is broken. Consisting of multipurpose rooms, storage, administrative offices and makeshift fitness, functional training, combative rooms and recreation spaces created in inaccessible racquetball and squash courts – the space is not designed to meet the needs of today’s students and community. Opened in 1961, the facility has outlived its lifespan. The Carmichael Gymnasium does not meet several significant health and safety codes – including ADA accessibility. The project not only meets the student demands for fitness and wellness spaces but addresses Carmichael Gymnasium deficiencies.

What other funding sources are available?

Wellness and Recreation and the Division of Academic and Student Affairs will actively seek additional funding sources working with NC State University Development. Should additional funding become available, these gifts and donations will reduce student fees.

What do I currently pay for recreation and Carmichael Complex indebtedness fees?

The typical full-time undergraduate and graduate student pays the Recreational Sports fee of $84.42 per semester ($168.85 per year) and Carmichael Indebtedness Fees of $71.50 per semester ($143.00 per year). Complete breakdown of Tuition and Fees can be found here.

How long will the debt service fee stay in effect?

Similar to a home mortgage, the debt service fee will be in effect for 25 years.

How does the Carmichael Complex impact the NC State student experience?

  • As the home of Wellness and Recreation and Health and Exercise Studies, the Carmichael Complex sees more than 1.12 million visits annually.
  • In 2019-20, 80% of undergraduates and 52% of graduate students used the complex.
  • Employing more than 650 students, Wellness and Recreation is one of the largest employers of students on-campus with more than $1.4 million dollars of student fees returned to students via wages annually.
  • Studies continue to show participation in university recreation and wellness centers is linked to student success, satisfaction, recruitment and retention.
  • Wellness and Recreation will continue to play an important role in the health and wellness of students by reducing stress, anxiety and depression through physical activity and exercise.

Carmichael Addition and Renovation Project in the Press

The Technician, October 6, 2015 | Carmichael Gym fee doesn’t go the distance
The Technician, September 30, 2015 | Student Senate votes to add $47.50 fee for gym renovations
The Technician, September 29, 2015 | Carmichael gym fee to increase
The Technician, March 5, 2015 | Fee increase to fund 25 years of gym upgrades
The Technician, March 5, 2015 | A look at the fitness of the Pack

For additional information, please contact:

Eric Hawkes
Executive Director, Wellness and Recreation

Project Stories

  • Same Campus, New Look

    June 25, 2020

    Capital improvement projects are making progress, and employees will see some changes when they return to work.

  • Mind and Body

    October 29, 2019

    Learn about a key feature of the Wellness and Recreation Center-- the new Mind Body Studio

  • Exploring New Routes

    August 21, 2019

    A new climbing center highlights the many features of the Wellness and Recreation Center.