Started by Students
UNT students considered a recreation center to be a critical facility on a university campus. In fact, the project was initiated by the Recreation and Leisure Studies Society, a UNT student group, in 1997. The idea gained momentum through student involvement and a referendum was voted on by the students and then passed by the Texas legislature, making the Pohl Recreation Center a reality. The need for the Pohl Recreation Center was further documented by a survey of UNT students that showed a need for "a place to be on campus." The student survey indicated a critical need for student social and leisure space on campus.
Student Recreation Center Changes Its Name
At a special appreciation gala saluting outgoing University of North Texas President Norval F. Pohl on May 12, 2006, UNT System officials joined with members of the university community and students in proposing the renaming of the university's state-of-the-art Student Recreation Center in his honor.
"It is most fitting that the Student Recreation Center - a building in the heart of the university campus, built to promote the physical and mental health of our students - be named for Dr. Pohl, who is widely acknowledged as the student-centered president," said UNT Chancellor Lee F. Jackson.
In October 2000, the same month Dr. Pohl took up his duties as UNT's 13th president, the students approved a referendum to institute a $75 per semester fee to finance a new recreation center.
From that time forward Dr. Pohl lent his support to every effort to move the students' expressed desire for a first-class recreation center from concept to reality.
Dr. Pohl stood with student body leaders at the forefront of the celebration when the 138,000 square-foot facility opened its recreational, leisure and social spaces to UNT students, faculty, staff and alumni in the fall of 2003.