Recreation and Wellness Centre redevelopment

March 2022

The Recreation and Wellness Centre (RWC) project is advancing well, with significant progress now visible on the building structure if you are on campus and passing the site. There are currently two tower cranes operational to help with the erection of the steel superstructure. The vast steel diagrid structure on the Symonds St road frontage can now be seen when you cross the pedestrian crossing from the Engineering building, giving you the chance to experience the scale of the exciting new facility. 

It is currently a challenging environment for construction, with pressure from Covid-19 isolation requirements, supply issues for materials and other obstacles. Despite these headwinds, the project is still on track for completion in 2024. The current expectation is to have the new facility open and fully operational in time for Semester Two, 2024.

August 2021

The demolition of the the original Recreation Centre located on Symonds Street is now complete. Retention piling, building piling and bulk excavation are also complete. Foundation works for the new Recreation and Wellness Centre will continue throughout Semester Two in preparation for the arrival of structural steel in December.

Everything is on schedule for the Recreation and Wellness Centre to open in 2024.

February 2021

The demolition of the the original Recreation Centre located at 17 Symonds Street is progressing to schedule and the heavy demolition is nearing completion as we approach the start of the new academic year.  Construction works on the piling for the new Recreation and Wellbeing Centre (RWC) have also begun around the perimeter of the building site.  The final stages of the demolition and the perimeter piling will all be completed by April this year. 

The temporary Recreation Centre is fully operational at 70 Stanley Street, with the interim Sports Centre now fully open on Wynyard St.  Be sure to drop in for a visit of both facilities some time soon. For information on our interim facilties, click here.

November 2020

Progress on the demolition of the original Recreation Centre located at 17 Symonds Street
is well and truly underway. As sad as it is to say good bye, it is an exciting milestone for the Sport and Recreation team and the University, as we progress towards an exciting future of sport, fitness and wellness.

Our brand new state of the art Recreation and Wellness Centre is due to open in its place in 2024. In the meantime, make sure you check out our current Rec Centre located at 70 Stanley Street.

February 2020

The construction work to prepare the site for the new Recreation and Wellness Centre has begun and the relocation of the existing facilities is underway.

On 28 January 2020, the Recreation Centre opened its interim facilities at 70 Stanley Street.

Construction of an interim Sports Courts facility has commenced at Wynyard Street with the foundations now installed. The new Sports Courts will open in Semester Two 2020. The current Sports Courts will continue to operate from 17 Symonds Street until the end of Semester One 2020 when the existing facilities will close their doors for the last time.

August 2019

The project to develop the new recreation and wellness centre on the City Campus is progressing well. The preliminary design stage is complete and the project team are now working on detailed design. It will be business as usual for sport and recreation in the current recreation centre for the remainder of the 2019 academic year. At the end of this year, the enabling works to investigate and prepare the site for the new recreation centre and to upgrade facilities around the Quad will begin.

We will be moving the fitness services from our current recreation centre, 17 Symonds Street, down to interim facilities at 70 Stanley Street in January 2020.  The sports courts will continue to operate at the current recreation centre at 17 Symonds Street for Semester One, 2020 before moving to interim facilities from Semester Two, 2020. Sport and recreation will operate out of our interim facilities until the new recreation and wellness centre is ready in 2024.

August 2018 update

At the meeting of University Council on Monday 20 August, the business case for the Recreation Centre redevelopment was approved. This will allow the project to move on to the next stages of planning and design, with demolition of the current facility estimated to begin in mid 2020.

The new facility is expected to open in 2024, with planning underway for interim sport and rec facilities for use during the construction period.

Design concepts

The University recognises the key role that sport and recreation plays in the wellbeing and success of our students and staff. We’re committed to maximising the opportunities for students and staff to play sport, keep fit and have fun whilst studying and working at the University of Auckland.

The existing Recreation Centre was built in 1978 when the University had 10,000 students studying on campus. Today the University has 40,000 students and over 5,000 staff. The current facility is at capacity and is no longer able to maximise sport, recreation and wellbeing opportunities for the University community.

The University has begun planning for a modern Recreation and Wellness facility which will cater to the needs of our community today and into the future. In planning for this facility we have widely consulted, over a number of years, with students, staff and existing Recreation Centre members as to what facilities they believe are important for the University to provide. The attached concept design, is the result of the extensive feedback we received during this consultation period.

If you have any further questions or queries please email

Summary of the feedback from the consultation

Thank you to all who posted feedback on the Recreation Centre redevelopment concept design through the month of October.

Key findings from the feedback include:

  • 78% of respondents are supportive of the design and development with 16% neutral and 6% unsupportive of either the design and/or the development.
  • 40% of respondents were current Recreation Centre members.
  • 39% of respondents were students.
  • 33% of respondents were professional staff and 23% academic staff.
  • 51% of respondents were female.

Overall comments were positive with repeated descriptors e.g. ‘good, like, great, nice, modern, amazing’ indicating support for the design.

Major feedback themes included:

  • Support for a swimming pool with some commentary around protecting privacy
  • Ensuring there was enough space for the prescribed activities
  • 70 comments supporting a bouldering wall
  • There was some concern with the loss of existing bicycle parking with 20 respondents making comment.
  • There were some comments regarding the name “Recreation and Wellness Centre” where respondents noted they couldn’t identify the wellness components.

The University project team has considered the feedback and reviewed with the design team for modifications to the concept design, where appropriate. With regards to ensuring there is enough space for activities the current Recreation Centre is approximately 5,000 sq.m. in size. The proposed facility is 18,000 sq.m. and provides significantly more opportunities to cater for a range of activities than currently present. It is anticipated that the new facility will bring back a number of student sports clubs to the campus which the current facility is unable to cater for.

Whilst bike parking is outside of the scope for this project Property Services are producing a University Cycle Parking Plan which will pick up this issue.

The advanced concept design will be completed in the first quarter of 2018.