It took some time, but the Phoenix Activities and Recreation Center (PARC) received an official nod from Elon University Tuesday afternoon with the PARC Grand Opening Ceremony.

Members of Elon University’s senior staff gave brief speeches and mingled with dozens of Campus Recreation and Student Union Board members, along with Danieley Neighborhood residents, to celebrate PARC’s impact since its Sept. 21 opening.

The space, located just behind Danieley Center flats H, I and J, features a fitness center, Campus Recreation offices and two basketball courts. Smith Jackson, vice president and dean of student life, said it will be used for athletics and much more.

“PARC was designed to be a student space,” Jackson said during his speech. “We didn’t have a space primarily dedicated for student events before, and [President Leo Lambert] said students needed a spot to gather, throw events and just have fun.”

Jackson also emphasized the university’s need for an indoor recreation space, especially for intramural sports, as well as a large area for Danieley Neighborhood residents to gather.

“[PARC] will better connect Danieley to Elon’s campus,” Jackson said. “There have been hundreds of students that have come to the new Daniel Commons, and with PARC along with that, Danieley is so much more connected.”

Lambert followed Jackson’s speech with a broader view of the PARC’s impact.  

“When we looked at our current strategic plan, the Elon Commitment, we knew building a residential campus environment was an important strategic part of it,” he said of Elon’s inspiration to build PARC.

The PARC was originally scheduled to open at the beginning of the school year after being under construction since February. Brad Moore, associate director of planning, design and construction, told The Pendulum in September that the opening was delayed because of issues placing the gym floor.

The wait was worth it, according to Allison Forhan, SUB’s creative design and marketing chair.

“This space provides a really good opportunity for Elon to unite its students more,” Forhan, a senior, said. “Right now, there are lots of small pockets of activity around campus. PARC will change that.” 

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