Grand opening of Marc L. Burnett Student Recreation & Fitness Center set

COOKEVILLE ─ Tennessee Tech will hold the official grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of the Marc. L Burnett Student Recreation & Fitness Center on Friday, April 9, at 2 p.m., with students, faculty, staff, university administrators and local officials invited to attend.

The commanding three-level, 165,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art recreation and fitness facility features a basketball gym and multi-activity court, racquetball courts, retractable bleachers for spectators, 13,000-square-foot weight room, 6,000-square-foot cardio room, climbing wall, golf simulator, elevated track, aquatic center, dance studio, game room and wellness and nutrition area. There is also an expanded childcare space as well as offices and large group exercise areas. Outside, there are basketball and pickleball courts. Additionally, the outdoor pursuits component allows students to rent outdoor equipment, such as kayaks and camping gear, to take advantage of the natural landscape in the area. 

The new facility, designed by Wold | HFR Design, is twice the size of the 1991 facility it replaced. In 2013, students voted to increase fees to replace the old fitness facility with the new one. Administration and students believe it will be a major recruitment attraction for future students. 

“One of our goals was to create something special for our students and campus,” said Suzann Hensley, Tennessee Tech’s director of recreation. “This new facility embodies Tennessee Tech’s student-first mentality, and we’ve been thrilled with the positive response we’ve received from those who’ve had an opportunity to experience it.” 

In addition to its functionality, the center provides an impressive focal point at the campus entrance. The design and materials reflect a contemporary interpretation of the Georgian style architecture prevalent on campus and complements other structures. The facility was completed in August 2020, but the grand opening ceremony was postponed until April to ensure the health and safety of the community because of the pandemic. 

“To create an inviting, student-focused facility, our design optimized the space to allow a wide range of activities,” said Stephen Griffin, principal at Wold | HFR Design, the project’s architect. “We are excited to see the facility’s positive impact on the campus and student body for many years to come.” 

About Tennessee Tech University 

Tennessee Tech produces practical, ready-to-work graduates from a broad range of academic disciplines prepared to compete in a technologically driven world. Here, students have the freedom to discover and pursue their passions, knowing there is a supportive community behind them. Developing their passions into hundreds of student clubs and organizations, Tech students make an impact on campus, in the community and around the world.

About Wold | HFR Design

Wold | HFR Design is a national firm with a local legacy focused on providing thoughtful architecture and engineering that helps improve lives in communities across the Southeast, Midwest and West. The firm has more than 100 years’ experience working in rural markets and more than 70 years of healthcare design experience. In its work with developers nationally and communities locally, Wold | HFR Design strives to positively impact the lives of its clients and all who occupy the spaces it designs on their behalf. To learn more, please visit

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