Healthcare N Illinois

Health and recreation center opens at Harper College

The reimagined Foglia Foundation Health and Recreation Center at Harper College has opened its doors after an extensive renovation. Mortenson led the $41 million modernization of the center as construction manager, working on plans by architect Cannon Design. Harper, Palatine Park District and Northwest Community Healthcare came together to reinvent the nearly 40-year-old building as a one-of-a-kind center promoting a holistic culture of wellness through a new model of academic, athletic and recreational opportunities and health services.

To create the new fitness, recreational and wellness center, Mortenson constructed a two-story, 10,000 square-foot addition to the 130,000 square-foot building. The existing building was stripped to the studs and underused spaces were converted into fitness and exercise rooms, six classrooms and team training and competition areas, including a new dedicated wrestling room and sports medicine facilities with a hydrotherapy bath.

“This state-of-the-art health and recreation center, in partnership with the Palatine Park District and Northwest Community Healthcare, provides an invaluable resource for Harper College and its surrounding community,” said Andy Stapleton, Mortenson general manager. “It’s an innovative collaboration that promotes health and wellness for all ages, interests and ability levels.”

Improvements include installing a suspended running and walking track, plus new lighting, scoreboards, remote-controlled curtains to separate courts and bleachers in the gym, as well as expanded and remodeled locker rooms for athletes, visiting teams, coaches and the public. Updated pool and swimming areas include new tile, decks, filtration system, lights and bleachers for attendees of water polo events and a nearby classroom for lifeguard training.

“What was once called the ‘loneliest building on campus’ is now a tremendous asset to the entire community,” said Dr. Ken Ender, president of Harper College. “By maximizing increasingly scarce public resources and leveraging the specialized expertise of each partner, everyone benefits.”

Palatine Park District contributed $9 million toward the $41 million renovation, which kept Harper from permanently closing the previously failing indoor pool. The park district will run the pool operations and provide aquatic, dance, sports and fitness programming.

Located within the Health and Recreation Center is the NCH Outpatient Care Center, a 10,000-square-foot-facility serving students, employees and the community. The care center offers primary care, immediate care, occupational health, physical therapy and more. Harper is the only community college in Illinois with a comprehensive outpatient care center staffed by on-site physicians.

The Health and Recreation Center will serve as a living learning lab for students. The kinesiology, health education and new personal training certificate programs will utilize three new smart classrooms including a human movement performance lab. The Outpatient Care Center will provide health careers students from programs such as radiologic technology, massage therapy and physical therapy assistant with clinical experience opportunities. The building also serves as home base for the Harper Hawks and athletics department.

The building is being dedicated the Foglia Foundation Health and Recreation Center in recognition of the Foglia Foundation’s more than $1.5 million in cumulative support and investment in the Harper College community.