(L–R): Amherst Supervisor Barry A. Weinstein, Daemen President Gary A. Olson, and Dale Demyanick, chair of the Daemen Board of Trustees
(L–R): Amherst Supervisor Barry A. Weinstein, Daemen President Gary A. Olson, and Dale Demyanick, chair of the Daemen Board of Trustees
(L–R): Amherst Supervisor Barry A. Weinstein, Daemen President Gary A. Olson, and Dale Demyanick, chair of the Daemen Board of Trustees

An important milestone in the growth of Daemen College was marked in the fall with the official opening of its new Academic and Wellness Center, a $5.6 million refurbishment project that provides state-of-the-art learning facilities for health-related academic programs and fitness and recreational space for the college community.

“This is an exciting time at Daemen as we augment our exceptional facilities with the completion of this ambitious renovation project, which is a major step in expanding the college’s campus footprint,” said Daemen President Gary A. Olson. “We are excited to open the doors to this new building and to provide our students a world-class facility that exemplifies excellence on our campus.”

Dr. Michael Brogan, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, said, “The transformation of this building is truly remarkable, and we’ve created a vital hub that joins academics and wellness. The advanced technology capabilities in the classrooms and labs takes learning to an even higher level and adds a new educational dimension to our exceptional academic programs.”

The two-story Academic and Wellness Center is home to classrooms and lab areas for Daemen’s physical therapy, athletic training and health care studies programs. High-tech instructional tools in the multimedia classrooms are integral to enhancing student engagement and hands-on learning in these well-established academic programs. The physical therapy lecture hall is designed as a multipurpose room for either traditional lectures or for collaborative small group learning opportunities.

“The space is equipped with a state-of-the-art camera that allows instructional demonstrations to be projected on to four large screens so they may be easily viewed from anywhere in the room,” explained Dr. Greg Ford, chairman of the Daemen Physical Therapy Department.

The building, which is ideally located across the street from Daemen’s main campus, also houses student lounges and faculty offices.

Another key component of the extensive renovation project is a 1,700-squarefoot modern fitness center with more than $200,000 in the latest cardio equipment with plugins available for mobile devices, as well as free weights and weight machines. Updated locker rooms and shower facilities are also available. Open to the college community, the fitness center is designed for users with a range of athletic abilities as well as for strength and conditioning purposes for Daemen’s nearly 200 intercollegiate student-athletes.

Along with the fitness center, the new facility houses a refurbished gymnasium with the Wildcats logo prominently displayed on the gym floor. In addition to Daemen athletics team practices, the gym is being used in an expanded schedule of recreational and intramural programming. It will further serve as supplemental space for the college’s popular youth sports camps and potentially for area sports activities.