Nick celebrates his first birthdayThe Badger Herald

Nicholas Recreation Center celebrates its first anniversary on Tuesday, having opened in 2020 after three years of construction.

Today it is the most popular student recreation center on campus.

RecWell’s communications and outreach coordinator Anthony Ramos said Nick’s first year has been a busy one.

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“We had, I believe, over 600,000 hits in the first year, and we’re hoping that number will increase to over a million hits a year,” Ramos said. “It has given students the opportunity to stay healthy at a time when health is increasingly important on campus.

The Nick has 30,400 square feet of fitness space, eight courts and a 27-lane pool, according to the University of Wisconsin Recreation and Wellness website.

Although they have to wear a mask during exercise, some students find it convenient to use the Nick during the pandemic. As it is the largest open recreation center, many students want to exercise at any time of the day.

But some students find it difficult to train at Nick because of his overwhelming popularity.

“I use the Nick every day,” said one student. “I think people love this place so much, and that’s the problem.”

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The Nick is the largest recreation center on campus while the new Natatorium is under construction – which closed last year as part of RecWell’s master plan. Until construction of the new Natatorium is complete, many students may find themselves waiting for the equipment to open before they can practice.

The Nick was also part of the RecWell master plan, as well as the Near East and West fields. The New Natatorium is expected to open its doors to students in 2023, according to the RecWell website.

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