NAU unveils breathtaking new Health and Learning Center

Health and Learning Center

Health and Learning Center


Northern Arizona University’s new Health and Learning Center just might take your breath away—even before you begin your workout.

Natural light spills in through skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows, illuminating the open-air foyer of the 272,000-square-foot building that stretches between San Francisco Street and Lumberjack Stadium on NAU’s Flagstaff campus.

See more photos with this visual tour of the new Health and Learning Center and the Aug. 29 grand opening festivities. Photos by Charlie McCallie and Dominick Washburn

Wrapped around the original 46,000-square-foot recreation center built in 1989, the Health and Learning Center combines under one roof an expanded recreation facility, Campus Health Services, NCAA team athletic facilities and flexible academic space.

Campus Health Services is home to four service departments that address the health care needs of students and employees. Located in the southwest wing of the center are Disability Resources, Employee Assistance and Wellness, the Counseling Center and Fronske Medical Services. The new facility integrates physical and mental health care including caseworkers for personal, one-on-one attention.

“Bringing together the skilled staff from the variety of disciplines to work together in this amazing facility vastly enhances the services we can provide,” said Beth Applebee, executive director of Fronske Medical Services. “Watching the faces of students when they enter the building to see what is now available to them makes every bit of work on this facility worth the investment.”

Fronske Medical Services offers urgent care services and features an onsite laboratory with radiology. The university’s full-service pharmacy has reopened in the new space.

Upstairs from Fronske, academic space occupies the third and fourth floors of the building’s southwest wing, with a computer lab, eight study rooms and 23 classrooms that each accommodate between 20 and 70 students. Classrooms on the third floor will host math and liberal arts classes this fall while the fourth floor classrooms will open in the spring.

Casual meeting spaces flank the classrooms, offering students room for studying, powering their laptop or socializing in between classes.

The new recreation center and athletic facilities stretch across the north and east wings of the building, with new locker rooms for NCAA track and field, soccer and tennis teams, a shared training room and offices for coaching staff.

The expansion of the recreation center includes a multipurpose gymnasium marked for basketball, field hockey and indoor soccer. Day use lockers line the walls of the ground floor outside the gym and two adjacent exercise studios outfitted for group aerobics, pilates and yoga classes.

On the second floor, an indoor jogging track circles above the gym and indoor climbing wall and dashes by the high-tech cardio theater, mirrored weight room and expanse of exercise equipment. Treadmills, stationary bicycles and elliptical machines line the east-facing glass wall like spectators, allowing guests to multitask their workout while they catch the action below in Lumberjack Stadium.

As part of the renovation, Lumberjack Stadium, built in 1960, got upgraded seating, a new stadium shell, concession stands and a box office. The track around Max Spilsbury Field got a new, blue surface.

After class or a bit of exercise, guests can catch their breath at the third floor café, which serves sandwiches and drinks along with a panoramic view of the San Francisco Peaks through floor-to-ceiling glass walls and the outdoor terrace.

From the front entrance to Fronske, the computer lab to Lumberjack Stadium, NAU’s Health and Learning Center enhances and expands the many services offered to students and employees.