Edmonton·Audio

PAW centre at the University of Alberta officially opens

The new Physical Activity and Wellness or PAW Centre at the University of Alberta celebrated its official opening on Friday.
The 'Alberta Bear' sculpture was unveiled at a brief ceremony on Friday. (CBC)

The new Physical Activity and Wellness or PAW Centre at the University of Alberta celebrated its official opening on Friday.

The 17,000-square metre centre has a two-storey climbing wall, a fitness centre and student lounges and is three times the size of the old facility.

The PAW Centre was built partly through a $10 million donation from Dick and Carol Wilson, who both graduated from the university forty years ago.

Kerry Mummery, dean of the Faculty of Physical Education, says the faciltiy is open to members of the public, as well as students.

"That's one of the little-known things about the facilities at the university is that there are public memberships," he said.  

A life-size bronze sculpture of a bear by wildlife artist Cathyrn Jenkins was unveiled as part of the opening ceremonies

The 1,100 pound artwork was commissioned by the U of A to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation