About Our Facility
The new Tennessee Tech fitness center is an 157,000 square foot facility that houses intramural sports, health promotions, varsity spirit squads, aerobics classes, a 25 yard swimming pool, cardiovascular equipment, cable machines, free-weights, a 1/5 of a mile track and much, much more.
Student fees built the facility and, therefore, the Tennessee Tech fitness center is not open to the public. For information about memberships, click here. The facility is open to: Tennessee Tech's faculty and staff and their families; graduates and their families; retired faculty and staff and their families; and students along with their families. To gain access to the fitness center you must present your Eagle Card or Membership Card.
With the opening of Tennessee Tech’s new Marc L. Burnett Student Recreation and Fitness Center, the old fitness center has a new purpose and a new name.
The Academic Wellness Center (AWC), which used to be affectionately known as “The Fit,” will now be home to several exercise science and physical education classes. Tennessee Tech athletics will also utilize the facility.
“We aren’t moving, we are just expanding our footprint on campus,” said Christy Killman, chair of the exercise science department. “One of the reasons we are doing that is that we have outgrown Memorial Gym.”
This summer, the Academic Wellness Center has been transformed from a recreational facility to an academic facility. The 78,000 square feet facility which opened in August 1991, will now be home to almost all of the PHED classes that are held on campus. If a course is scheduled to meet off campus like shooting, bowling, Crossfit and golf, the first day of class will still be in Memorial Gym. Classes such as ninja training, ballroom dancing, volleyball and men’s basketball will still meet in Memorial Gym. Fitness walking, cardio conditioning, weight training and others will meet in the AWC.
“Adding this space will help grow the number of students who can and will and want to participate in our PHED activity courses,” Killman explained. “Students got to where they didn’t want to take those classes in Mem Gym. Now they can come over to the AWC and take those classes where there is AC, more space and options.”
Athletic advising offices and athletics study hall will be housed in the AWC along with exercise science classes such as exercise prescription, assessment, concepts of health and wellness, leadership development, training for performance, ethical issues in sport, and all athletic training courses. Many of the PHED course offerings will also be in the AWC.
“This gives us an opportunity to offer more classes at better times,” said Killman. “It gives us places to have better lab experiences. It has given us an opportunity to really continue to grow our programs and our student major population.”
The pool inside the AWC has been closed. Areas inside the AWC have been ‘renovated’ to add space and classes for students.
“Once people know what the Academic Wellness Center is, where it is, and what it’s all about, we will be able to have a lot more going on,” Killman said. “We will still have a lot happening in Memorial Gym, too.”
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The Tennessee Tech fitness center is a private facility. Memberships are only available to alumni, faculty and staff, part-time students, and Retirees of Tennessee Technological University.
Dependent memberships are also available for the spouse of alumni, faculty and staff, part-time and full time students, and their children who are under age 22. Individuals must have a membership in order to purchase a dependent membership.
Students who are taking 6 or more credit hours have access to the Fitness Center through student access fees.
Students who have less than 6 credit hours can purchase a per semester membership.
With any membership, one guest can be brought to the fitness center for $5.00 per visit. Guests must be accompanied by a member at all times!
Grand Opening of Marc L. Burnett Student Recreation & Fitness Center set for April 9
Tennessee Tech will hold the official grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of the Marc. L Burnett Student Recreation & Fitness Center on Friday, April 9, at 2 p.m., with students, faculty, staff, university administrators and local officials invited to attend.
The commanding three-level, 165,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art recreation and fitness facility features a basketball gym and multi-activity court, racquetball courts, retractable bleachers for spectators, 13,000-square-foot weight room, 6,000-square-foot cardio room, climbing wall, golf simulator, elevated track, aquatic center, dance studio, game room, and wellness and nutrition area. There is also an expanded childcare space as well as offices and large group exercise areas. Outside, there are basketball and pickleball courts. Additionally, the outdoor pursuits component allows students to rent outdoor equipment, such as kayaks and camping gear, to take advantage of the natural landscape in the area.
The new facility, designed by Wold | HFR Design, is twice the size of the 1991 facility it replaced. In 2013, students voted to increase fees to replace the old fitness facility with the new one. Administration and students believe it will be a major recruitment attraction for future students.
“One of our goals was to create something special for our students and campus” said Suzann Hensley, Tennessee Tech’s Director of Recreation. “This new facility embodies Tennessee Tech’s student-first mentality, and we’ve been thrilled with the positive response we’ve received from those who’ve had an opportunity to experience it.”
In addition to its functionality, the center provides an impressive focal point at the campus entrance. The design and materials reflect a contemporary interpretation of the Georgian style architecture prevalent on campus and complements other structures. The facility was completed in August 2020, but the grand opening ceremony was postponed until April to ensure the health and safety of the community because of the pandemic.
“To create an inviting, student-focused facility, our design optimized the space to allow a wide range of activities,” said Stephen Griffin, principal at Wold | HFR Design, the project’s architect. “We are excited to see the facility’s positive impact on the campus and student body for many years to come.”
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Center tennessee tech new fitness
Students enjoying Tech’s new Marc L. Burnett Fitness and Recreation Center
The clanking of weights and the splashing of pool water in the new Marc L. Burnett Fitness and Recreation Center are welcomed sounds to students at Tennessee Tech.
The new 157,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility is now open to students, faculty, staff, retired faculty and staff and Tech graduates.
“The opening of a new building is always thrilling,” said Aaron Lay, an agriculture communications major from Madisonville, Tenn. “However, all of the upgrades and new opportunities that students will have to further their physical fitness is extremely exciting.”
Student fees funded the beautiful and massive new facility located on the corner of 7th Street and Willow Avenue. In November 2013, a majority of students voted to approve a $100 per semester fee to replace the old fitness center with a new one. The vote was a product of a bill passed unanimously by the student government association.
“From an SGA point of view, it is amazing to be serving in my capacity during the opening of this building that the Student Government Association played a massive role in,” said Lay, who is the current SGA president. “I know that previous SGA administrations poured a lot of effort into this opportunity for students. The new fit is student funded and student centered. This addition to campus certainly encompasses the student first mentality that Tennessee Tech continues to pour out.”
The new facility is twice the size of the old facility, which was built in 1991. David Mullinax, the director of recreation at Tennessee Tech, was involved in the building of the old fitness center and is happy to see the new facility come to fruition.
“I think this will have a major impact on campus,” said Mullinax. “I have taken several students through it and every time I do, they are like children in a candy store. They just don’t know which piece to get.”
An attractive, inviting facility, students can enjoy a huge basketball gym and a multi-activity center, racquetball courts, retractable bleachers for spectators, a 13,000 square foot weight room, 6,000 square foot cardio room, climbing wall, golf simulator, elevated track, aquatic center, game room, expanded child care, outdoor camping equipment and rental programs.
“We’ve added quite a few new things and upgraded what we had,” said Mullinax. “There are a lot of things different. We have added a lot of new programs besides just space.”
Mullinax said that not all areas of the building are open because of the coronavirus. The track, cardio room, weight room and pool are currently open, and he anticipates trying to get everything else open when the fall semester begins on Aug. 24.
Even with a partial opening, Mullinax sees the benefit the new fitness center will have in attracting new students to Tech.
“Students think this will be a real drawing card for recruiting and getting their friends to come,” he said. “One of our goals was to present something that is special on our campus.”
A full interview with Mullinax discussing the new fitness center can be listened to on this week’s Tennessee Tech Today show at https://www.tntech.edu/news/files/TNTech_Today_Show_7-10-20.mp3.
For more information on the Marc L. Burnett Fitness and Recreation Center, go to https://www.tntech.edu/recreation/fitnesscenter/index.php.
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Campus Rec Hours Fall '21
Monday – Thursday 6 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Friday 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday - 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday - 1 p.m. – 10 p.m.
(Pool closes one hour before facility)
Monday – Thursday 6 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Friday 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday - 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday - 1 p.m. – 9 p.m.
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This morning, the Audit and Business Committee of the Tennessee Tech Board of Trustees approved a recommendation to honor Marc Burnett by naming the university’s new student recreation and fitness center for him.
The committee passed the recommendation to the full board where it was approved unanimously. The building will be known as the Marc L. Burnett Student Recreation and Fitness Center.
Burnett spent more than 36 years influencing students on Tennessee Tech’s campus, including his years of service as an administrator and advocate for diversity.
“It is fitting that Marc's name will be associated with a building that students funded, helped design, and will enjoy,” said Tennessee Tech president Phil Oldham. “Marc has held so many roles on our campus, from student-athlete to executive administrator, and his passion has always been for helping students finish their degrees, find their passions and have some fun.”
A standout basketball player for the Golden Eagles, Burnett graduated from Tech in 1982 with a degree in English/Journalism. Burnett is part of one of Tech’s iconic moment in scoring the first point in Hooper Eblen Center history. In addition, he was a five-time captain of the men’s basketball team and also earned a master’s degree from Tech.
“I would like to say that it is a dream come true, but it’s not something I ever imagined,” Burnett said. “I was speechless, almost at the point of tears, when I got the news. I just didn’t expect that.”
Burnett retired from Tech in December as the Vice President for Student Affairs. As the lead administrator in student affairs, he worked with students, faculty, and staff to create and maintain student development. He oversaw policies and programs performed within the Division of Student Affairs which included: Campus Recreation & Fitness Center, Counseling Center, Dean of Students, Disability Services, Eagle Card, Health Services, Multicultural Affairs, Residential Life, Orientation and Student Success, Roaden University Center, Service Learning Center, Student Activities & Greek Life, and University Police.
“I served the university to the best of my ability,” Burnett said. “When I look back, I think I did the best that I could.”
Burnett has always been an advocate for diversity. A year ago, he was appointed Tech’s first Chief Diversity Officer. He has raised approximately $1.2 million for the diversity scholarship fund, was instrumental in the founding and leadership for what is now the Leona Lusk Officer Multicultural Center, and is the first – and only – African-American vice president at Tech. The naming of this building after Burnett will be the first building named for an African-American.
“My job was to work with the entire student body, but diversity has always been important to me,” said Burnett. Being African-American and being an African-American student on campus, it is important. An African-American student at Tennessee Tech, while being in the minority, comes into an environment that is conducive to learning and there is so much to learn by being a student.”
Burnett worked with the students when it came to the new fitness center. He was extremely instrumental in getting the student body to approve a fee for the purpose of building the new center. He worked closely with the SGA and other students to show the benefit the center will have for student use and also the University’s image and reputation.
“We realized that Tennessee Tech was going to grow. We knew the current fitness center would be too small if we had our way and our student population grew and our campus grew,” said Burnett. “The first fitness center was built for about 7,500 students and we have grown past that. Hopefully, the new fitness center will help with recruiting and other things that go on at Tennessee Tech.”
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