Canisius Converts Palisano Pavilion into Student Fitness Center

April 4, 2019


BUFFALO, NY – Canisius President John J. Hurley announced plans on Friday, March 29 to convert the ground floor of Palisano Pavilion into a student fitness center for both undergraduate and graduate students.  The renovated facility is scheduled to open during the 2019-20 academic year and will feature an array of cardio machines including treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bicycles and weightlifting equipment.  Changing rooms and showers are also in the plans, to help accommodate students who live off-campus or commute.

“This offers a lot of change to campus in a good, fresh way that I think will make us more competitive to the facilities that other schools have,” said Matthew Smardz ’19, president of the college’s Undergraduate Student Association (USA).

The decision to convert the Palisano Pavilion from its current mixed-use space follows student concerns over the lack of a general student fitness and recreation facility.  Currently, students share the weight and aerobic center in the Koessler Athletic Center with intercollegiate athletes but are often unable to use the center because varsity teams have scheduled weight-lifting days and times. 

 “Fitness centers on college campuses have become a required amenity,” said Hurley in his announcement.  “Once complete, we anticipate that the new fitness center will enhance the student experience and make Canisius a more attractive choice for prospective students.”

The college is working with CannonDesign on the architectural plans for the fitness center.  Those plans will be finalized in the coming weeks and presented to the Board of Trustees during its May meeting.  A cost estimate for the project was not available on the date of President Hurley’s announcement but is expected to be “under one million dollars.” Additionally, the USA is scheduled to vote on contributing $50,000 towards the new fitness center.  If approved, the funding will come from a surplus in the USA operating budget. 

One of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the nation, Canisius is the premier private university in Western New York.