Students and their families �€even the governor of West Virginia Bob Wise and world-class climber Peter Hilary �€will be on hand at 2 p.m. Friday when West Virginia University dedicates its new 177,000-square-foot Student Recreation Center during Fall Family Weekend. The ceremony will take place in Multi-Purpose Room A of the facility, followed by a ribbon-cutting at the climbing wall.

Hilary is said to”take his audience with him”when he discusses his many extraordinary experiences such as climbing to the summit of Mount Everest, traversing Antarctica to the South Pole or making a terrifying descent of K2 down a vast vertical rock face in a vicious storm.

Peter is the son of Sir Edmund Hilary, the first man to reach the summit of Mount Everest. He replaces Ed Viesturs who is unable to travel to Morgantown in light of the recent terrorist incidents.

Besides the official ceremony and climbing ventures, other Friday activities include:

  • Contests and relays such as a triathlon, home run hitting contest, hot shot competition and three-on-three basketball
  • Scuba, fencing, climbing, juggling, frisbee and other demonstrations
  • Massages, a swim stroke analysis, body composition testing
  • Live entertainment such as WVU Steel Drums, WVU Choir, Womens Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Same Difference, U-92 remote
  • Open recreational areas until midnight
  • Flick-N-Float (movies while floating in the aquatics area)
  • Tours of the $34 million facility and enrollment information will be available
  • A cookout at 6 p.m. in the green space near the West entrance
  • * NOTE : The 9 p.m. fireworks show has been canceled

Due to the Mountaineershome game with Kent State, the center will be open for recreational use only on Saturday. Tours are available as part of Fall Family Weekend from 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Sundays activities from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. are geared toward employees and their families. An information fair will be set up in the free zone with enrollment and intramural information and an opportunity to win a free one-year membership.

More demonstrations, health screenings and massages will be packaged with a magic show and other family-oriented activities. For a complete weekend schedule, call 293-5055 or visit WVU online at

All weekend events are free, but students and visitors are encouraged to register for certain activities and giveaways at the check-in area in the free zone. Some are first-come, first-served; others require registration or are ticketed.

p. Pre-Registered Events:

  • p. 1. Triathlon (9/21/01) Students can pre-register beginning 9/10/01 by calling 293-5063. Grand Prize for male/female winners: Mountain Bike

2. 3-On-3 Womens Basketball (9/21/01) Teams may pre-register beginning 9/10/01 by calling 293-5063. Grand Prize: $50 Gift Certificate per team member for the WVU Book Store

3. 3-On-3 Mens Basketball (9/21/01) -Teams may pre-register beginning 9/10/01 by calling 293-5063. Grand Prize: $50 Gift Certificate per team member for the WVU Book Store

4. Youth Swim Instruction (9/23/01) -Parents may register children ages 6-12 beginning 9/10/01 by calling 293-5063. Classes will rotate everyhour.

Due to limited parking at the facility, Friday visitors are encouraged to park at the WVU Coliseum and ride the shuttle to and from the Rec Center beginning at 1:15 p.m. and ending at 12:15 a.m. Students and guests can also take the PRT or buses to the Evansdale Residential Complex throughout the weekend and walk the short distance.

Those planning to participate in activities are asked to wear comfortable clothing and non-marking athletic shoes.

The Rec Center sits on a 12-acre site that was formerly an intramural field; it opened in mid July. The modern facility sports two swimming poolsa 25-yard, six-lane lap pool and a leisure pool with a beach-style entry; two gymnasiums; a three-lane, 1/9-mile elevated running and walking track; three multipurpose rooms for aerobics, martial arts and dance activities; three racquetball courts and a squash court; an outdoor recreation center; and 17,000 square feet of weight and fitness space on two levels.

The architectural focal feature of the center remains the magnificent climbing wall off the main entrance corridor.