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Steven Seidl, a UW Oshkosh junior in math education from Appleton Wisconsin, receives recognition for the millionth patron of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

It was not the reception Steven Seidl, a University of Wisconsin Oshkosh junior in math education from Appleton, expected upon entering the Student Recreation and Wellness Center on Dec. 16.

Seidl had no idea he’d be declared the one-millionth user to pass though the student-funded, award-winning facility’s doors since its 2007 opening. Staff and students greeted him with a mini-celebration and a handshake.

It’s a big milestone for the striking, five-year-old center, designed as a lifestyle, health-and-wellness enhancing hub of the UW Oshkosh campus, located just off the Fox River and Wisconsin Street.

“The one millionth student use is significant in that it reflects the heavy use of the SRWC in the short time it has been open since 2007,” SRWC Director Tom Patt said. “It also demonstrates what a great return on investment students have received for the decision to fund the nationally award winning SRWC.   Survey data has shown that students who participate in recreation and wellness activities do better academically are more satisfied with their college experience and are more likely to graduate.”

SRWC staff admit they cannot precisely pinpoint the center’s actual millionth patron. They also, obviously, admit that there have been thousands of repeat users over the center’s short lifetime.

However, registration data for users and entrance turnstile tallies suggest the facility was, within the days surrounding Dec. 16, going to eclipse that one-million mark.

Seidel gets a handshake from SRWC Director Tom Patt.

The award-winning, $21-million, 104,000-square-foot SRWC opened in 2007. Funded through student segregated fees, it features an array of health and wellness , including a climbing wall, three basketball courts, a free-weight theater, a multipurpose gym for soccer and floor hockey, a walking and jogging track, cardio center and a Cyber Café, which offers healthy food options.

Its innovative design earned it the Outstanding Sports Facilities Award from the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) in 2009 and an Innovative Architecture and Design Award later that year.

In 2010, College Planning & Management Magazine selected the SRWC as the 2010 Grand Prize winner for Outstanding Design and Architecture in Education in the college and university category. The magazine is a leading is publication in facilities design in education.

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