An aerial photo of campus.

Student Recreation Center Opens at Benedictine College

Published: Saturday, April 2, 2016

Atchison, Kan. – Benedictine College opened its new Student Recreation Center on April 2. The 42,000 square foot facility features a hanging track and a turfed field along with two full sized basketball courts, two multipurpose rooms for aerobics, Zumba and spinning classes, and a spacious cardio/weight room with 38 workout machines, plus locker rooms, a healthy snack bar, study area and offices. The recreation center is open to Benedictine College students, faculty, staff and others affiliated with the college. A Benedictine College ID is required for entry.

The facility was designed to fit in with the older buildings on campus, so Gothic arches, dormers, and a brick and limestone façade are all included. During the design period, the college met with representatives of other colleges to learn more about how students are using existing recreation centers. That information was blended into the mission of the college to create the new building.

“We found that rec centers frequently became study areas as students congregate before or after exercising,” said Benedictine College President Stephen D. Minnis. “Therefore, we have put in a warmer, carpeted area with study tables to facilitate studying.”

“Benedictine College’s mission is focused on community, faith and scholarship, and this building will be no different,” he added. “The building includes community areas; a crucifix will be placed above the door as a reminder of faith, and the study area is representative of scholarship.”

The gym area features 12 hoops to accommodate two full-sized courts or four half-court for intramurals. The gyms also have fixtures for volleyball and tennis nets. The Terra Flex flooring is durable and does not need to be covered for special events, which makes the facility useful for dances and banquets as well.

Beside the gym floors is a complete indoor turfed field. This can be used for intramural soccer games, lacrosse, flickerball, and other traditionally “outdoor” games. The turfed field also has three netted batting cages that can be lowered down onto the surface.

Above the gyms and turfed field is a 1/10th mile, three-lane track. In addition to being elevated above the gym area, the track actually goes out over an exterior walkway and offers views of the campus. The surface is rubberized and specially designed for running.

The entire gym is surrounded by insulated, corrugated walls to reduce sounds and echoing inside the facility.

The large cardio/weight room features state-of-the art equipment, including 8 treadmills, 6 ellipticals, 4 stationary bikes and 2 stair steppers. The Life Fitness Signature Series machines feature Life Fitness QR Scan codes to watch instructional videos and track strength training. The ellipticals and treadmills offer individual screens with touchscreen operations to select interactive running experiences from around the world.

The area also includes 14 Nautilus benches, 3 free-weight cages and 2 rowing machines. Many of these machines also feature QR scan codes to watch a demonstration video on your smart phone. Weight training equipment includes a Seated Chest Press, Inner Thigh, Vertical Butterfly, Outer Thigh, Shoulder Press, Calf Raise, Lateral Pulldown, Leg Press, Bicep Curl, Smith Machine, Tricep Extension, Flat Incline Bench, Rotary Torso, Crossover Cable Station, Abdominal Crunch, Horizontal Leg Curl and Leg Extension.

Regular Hours of Operation


Cardio/Weight Room – 5:00 a.m. – Midnight
Entire Facility – 6:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.


8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Noon – 8:00 p.m.

Family Fun Hours

(Friday 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.) & (Saturday 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.)


Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.