University of Nebraska at Kearney, Campus Wellness Center

Kearney, NE

The University of Nebraska-Kearney (UNK) commissioned LEO A DALY to study the feasibility of a new campus Wellness Center. University leaders wanted a new Wellness Center to foster the holistic development of its students and of an integrated learning community. Upon completion of the study followed by a successful fundraising campaign, our team was retained to complete full architectural and engineering services for the new Campus Wellness Center and Human Performance Department.

The new facility’s programming includes upper and lower levels with dedicated entries. The upper level includes physical activity, bone density and wellness labs that serve the university’s wellness programs for community adolescents and adults. Kinesiology and exercise science students gain hands-on experience working with community members to achieve their health goals. Fitness equipment and offices on the upper level serve these health-related academic programs. The lower level serves current students and faculty with 6,000-SF of fitness space.

By separating light-lifting and heavy free-weight areas, the center’s fitness programming invites usage by people of all abilities and experience levels. A 30-foot climbing wall appeals to recreation seekers and gives students and faculty opportunities to hone climbing skills year-round. A flexible multi-purpose room includes a demonstration kitchen for nutrition classes and is equipped with audio-visual infrastructure for recording and broadcasting to today’s media-centric student body.

Aspects such as the demonstration kitchen help drive community-based programming, including nutritional cooking classes. The facility further extends its reach into the community through an affiliate membership program, which doubles as a source of revenue, yet another benefit of the UNK Wellness Center’s versatile design.


University of Nebraska System

At a glance

  • 24,000 SF
  • Two-story addition


  • Fitness Center
  • Weight Room
  • 30-Foot Climbing Wall
  • Human Performance Lab
  • Multi-Purpose Rooms
  • Nutrition Classroom/Demonstration Kitchen


  • Architecture
  • Interior Design
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Fire Protection Engineering
  • Construction Administration