The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Opening day at Dedman

Opening day at Dedman

Opening day at Dedman

Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports will open its 115,000-square-foot Phase I expansion to the public Monday after more than a year of construction.

The $25 million project was predominantly funded by a raise in tuition fees over the past two years.

In addition to the activities available at the previous facility and the Cinco Fitness Center, the 165,000-square-foot total expansion will include new programming in aquatics, fitness and outdoor adventure.

The center also has lounge areas, computer terminals, two pool tables, a 20-foot shuffleboard and 29 new flat-screen plasma televisions with cable. There will also be a new Java City Cafe, which will offer quick food, coffee, juice and soft drinks for eating in or taking out.

Most of the activities are free for students, faculty and members. Students can gain access to the facility with an SMU ID card and new hand-scanning entry system.

With many other Texas universities home to large recreational centers, Judith Banes, the department director of the Dedman Center, said it was time to build a new one.

“We’re one of the last major universities to build a center,” she said.

Banes hopes it will be a recruiting tool for potential students, since it is one of the first stops on SMU tours.

Banes also feels it will also help to create a sense of community for current students.

An open house will be held Saturday, and tours will be given from 10 a.m. to noon.

Climbing and Bouldering Wall

In the middle of the Dedman Center, a massive gray 40-foot rock wall extends from the base to the roof, dividing the workout facility in half. Members can climb more than 24 routes, ranging from beginner to expert level. In order to sustain a certain challenge level, the climbing routes will be altered every three weeks, according to David Chambers, the outdoor adventure coordinator.

Behind the tower is a bouldering wall, a 60-foot wide horizontal climb, which does not require supervision or ropes and is free to all students. Chambers cautions members to start on the climbing wall first, as bouldering is more difficult. The Climbing Center will provide supervision, instruction and indoor and outdoor climbing equipment rental.

Special climbing events, competitions and classes will be offered. Each member is allotted three free “Try-A-Climbs” with staff assistance before they are required to obtain certification or pay an additional fee per day. Certification classes are taught on site.

Basketball and Volleyball Courts

Two of the four courts are completed for Monday’s opening. The other two will be completed during Phase II. On the third level, a half track runs around the perimeter of the court. The track will be completed during Phase II.

Fitness Center

The weight room and fitness area is 15,000 square feet, more than twice the size of the Cinco Center, the former workout facility. All of the equipment is brand-new.

Sixteen of the machines have attached flat -screen TVs. All workout machines have headphone plug-ins with a choice of seven radio stations and five digital radio stations. Unlike the before, members are not required to sign-up for machine use.

Swimming Pools

Outdoors and to the left of the entrance lies a 50-by-30 foot fountain pool with four 7-foot waterfalls, with various jet and bubble sprays, and sunbathing areas with lounge chairs in the water.

An 8-foot deep, five-lane indoor pool is surrounded by a stainless steel gutter, and members can join water sports and aerobic classes. Swimming classes, lifeguard classes, water safety classes and triathlon classes will be provided. In addition, there will be “liquid lunch,” where an hour-long aerobic class will be held in shallow water (so as not to get one’s hair wet) at noon.

Outdoor Adventure

SMU Outdoor Adventures will offer nature skills workshops, recreation trips and a team building program.

Various outdoor trips are held every semester. These include backpacking, hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking and camping.

The Dedman Center also offers a variety of camping, backpacking, climbing and water sports equipment for rent.


Paid students and faculty will run the center. The group includes lifeguards, personal trainers and fitness instructors. Over the past few months, the staff has prepared for the opening of the Dedman Center by bringing in equipment and training to teach classes .

“I can’t brag enough,” Banes said. “My staff has been wonderful.”

The Future

Phase II is scheduled to open in May 2006. It will include dance rooms, classrooms, outdoor sand volleyball courts, expanded basketball/volleyball courts, six badminton courts, glass-back racquetball and a completed indoor track expanded to three lanes and a six-lap mile.

Full schedules, descriptions and animations of the expansion, and weekly pictures are available at

Hours of Operation

Mon – Thur: 6 a.m. – 12 a.m.

Fri: 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Sat: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Sun: 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.

Opening day at Dedman

Opening day at Dedman

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