Sacramento State students get WELL in record numbers

By Edward E. Beltran and Andrew McCormick
July 15, 2017

Since its opening in 2010, the WELL at Sacramento State University has proved immensely popular with the campus community. Demand is so high, the university recently announced plans to expand the facility in 2018.

On a recent weekday, sneakers squeaked in the gymnasium as several games of basketball were simultaneously underway. Joggers circled above on the elevated track, while students scaled the WELL's large indoor climbing walls between classes. Nearby, a large room dedicated to elliptical machines and treadmills was bustling with activity. While giving a tour to a small group of Hornberger + Worstell staff, Kate Smith, the director of the WELL, described how the facility was hard pressed to keep up with demand. Upstairs, next to the temperature-controlled yoga studios, students in workout attire passed by additional rows of exercise machines that the university had recently installed for overflow crowds. Just seven years after Sac State debuted its ambitious campus wellness venue, the message was clear: More!

Designed by Hornberger + Worstell and built by McCarthy Building Companies, the 152,000-square-foot facility serves as a recreation center and full service healthcare facility for the university's 30,000 students, 3,000 faculty and staff, and alumni. Across the building from the fitness rooms, members can receive one-on-one counseling sessions and physicals, fill medical prescriptions and get new eyeglasses. The WELL also hosts university events, including the annual freshman orientation, a yearly zumba party, and educational cooking programs in the demonstration kitchen.

The opening of the WELL represented a dramatic increase in the quality and quantity of the University’s health and wellness programs. Prior to the opening, campus recreation was overseen by two full-time staff members with a limited recreation program that could only support 3,000 students per week. When the WELL opened, the university upped its staffing from two to 21, providing whole-health care for students, faculty and alumni through a broad spectrum of amenities and services. The facility now serves over 22,000 active members, or as much as two thirds of the campus population, and participation has increased from 3,000 visitors per week to 4,500 per day.

Offering a truly unique integration of services, the WELL reinforces healthy living, an active lifestyle, and prevention-focused medicine, offering students the ability to become active participants in their own health.