The Margot Connell Recreation Center—the latest addition to Boston College’s expanding campus—opened its doors Tuesday morning. The building is double the size of the Flynn Recreation Complex and offers an additional 60,000 square feet of floor space.
“This is a historic day for Boston College with the opening of the Margot Connell Recreation Center,” BC Director of Athletics Martin Jarmond said in an email to The Heights. “This state-of-the-art facility will be a venue our entire Boston College community will be able to enjoy and will be an important asset to several of our varsity sports teams in regards to competition and training. It is an exciting new day at BC!”
In a July 2 email outlining the timeline for the structure’s soft opening, the University said that not all of the four-story facility’s spaces will be available right away.
On the first floor, the basketball courts and service areas, like the equipment desk and locker rooms, will be available from the outset. The aquatics center—also on the first floor—will not open until July 15. Other first-floor features such as the rock-climbing walls, golf simulator, and outdoor adventures simulator, will not open immediately either.
“It will be interesting to try out all the new features like the rock climbing wall and the golf simulator, both of which seem honestly a little excessive to have, but fun nonetheless,” Nick Lombardi, CSOM ’21, said.
All nine of the “fitness neighborhoods,” which are designed for individual workouts, are available as of Tuesday, although not all equipment is on hand. Each room specializes in a family of exercises, such as cardio, strength, and functional training. Two multi-purpose rooms—centered around group fitness and mind-body training—are open, while the spin and functional training spaces are not.
“Two of the aspects I look forward to most are the new workout neighborhoods tailored to individual types of workouts and the extra basketball courts that will be available,” Gaven Giampalmi, CSOM ’21, said. “Hopefully this will allow everyone in the BC community to enjoy the space at all times in the day without having to stand around waiting for the next game to start or to use the piece of equipment you need to finish your workout.”
Lombardi agreed that the old facilitiy’s biggest shortcoming was its tendency to generate crowds.
The third floor hosts the tennis courts and more basketball courts, which are all open. The fourth-floor racquetball and squash courts are open, but the jogging track is not.
The center has limited hours until Aug. 4: 6 a.m to 9 a.m., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. during weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. The University did not provide information about how hours would expand after that date or the timeline for the full opening.
The building bears the name of trustee associate, honorary degree recipient, and mother or grandmother to 10 BC, alumni Margot Connell, whose family jumpstarted construction with a generous $50 million gift.
Featured Image and Photos by Celine Lim / Heights Editor