Student Wellness & Activities Center NCSSM Morganton
Morganton, North Carolina
The new Student Wellness & Activities Center merges fitness, physical health and mental wellness with clinical and athletic programs to serve a growing student population. The structure’s open design signifies the public nature of the Center’s primary spaces. An open, faceted lobby contributes to destigmatizing and demystifying services for mental and emotional health—part of the universal trend to transform student care using individual- and community-based models. Two transparent entry areas pinwheel from the building’s core out to the surrounding campus. Students passing by can glimpse into a variety of recreational, fitness and wellness activities, including fitness, gaming and social gathering. A gymnasium with an elevated walking track doubles as an event space and provides entrances from the upper Academic Street and a cross-country running circuit on the lower level.
The orientation of the transparent core of the building core allows views of the Academic Street to the east. To the west, fitness spaces and counseling rooms look out to the campus’s bucolic landscape of meadows and woodlands with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance. A multipurpose room, gymnasium and fitness studio complement the care provided by the student health clinic. A meditation garden completes the Center’s vision for a whole-body approach to student health.