Recreation, Fitness and Wellness

Welcome to recreation, fitness and wellness at NSU!
Northern aims to offer students and employees the best fitness equipment and workout options possible. All students and employees are welcome! With two centers, a pool, recreation fields and tennis courts right on campus, group exercise classes throughout the school year, and an extensive variety of cardio and weight equipment, Northern provides opportunities for safe, effective, efficient, and enjoyable exercise.

Students and Northern employees must activate NSU ID card access to fitness facilities by signing a waiver; stop by the Wellness Center desk or contact Intramural Athletics.

Because of COVID-19, all intramural, fitness and recreation activities have been cancelled until further notice. Thank you for your patience during this unprecedented time.


Avera Health and Wellness Center

The 10,000 square foot Avera Health and Wellness Center, on the second floor of the Barnett Center, offers students, faculty, and staff a full-service workout environment. The facility features 18 full power lifting racks with rubber platforms, 13 strength machines, 12 treadmills, nine elliptical machines, five stationary bikes, three recumbent bikes, and two sets of dumbbells ranging from 5 to 150 pounds. All racks are fitted with Olympic lifting platforms. Other amenities include restrooms, a drinking fountain, elevator access near the main entrance, and a large open space for stretching, warmups, and other activities. Storage cabinets are available to wellness center users. Take a virtual tour!


Monday-Thursday: 6 a.m.-10 p.m.

Friday: 6 a.m.-6 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Sunday: Noon-6 p.m.


Students and employees are asked to check in at the main desk with their NSU ID card or ID number upon arrival. 

Dacotah Hall Intramural and Student Rec Center

At the Dacotah Hall Intramural and Student Recreation Center, a variety of fitness and recreational options are available to students and Northern employees. Bring your NSU ID card for swipe access at the west-facing gym door in Dacotah Hall. Take a virtual tour!


Features include:

  • Gaming center
  • Dance studio
  • Fitness room
  • Golfing simulator
  • Multi-use court

The court is a regulation-length basketball court with four basketball hoops, and can be converted for volleyball and indoor soccer use.


Also offered throughout the year are fitness classes, including yoga, Zumba, Taekwondo and others - all free to students! Equipment for badminton, disc golf, ping pong and other activities is available for checkout. Dacotah is home to NSU intramurals, offering a variety of fun, casual sport options throughout the year. Center staff are on hand during open hours to assist with any questions.


Follow intramurals on Twitter: @NSURecreation


Monday-Thursday: 1-10 p.m.

Friday-Sunday: 1-7 p.m.

Athletic and Recreation Fields

The NSU Athletic and Recreation Fields offer a variety of recreational options to students, faculty and staff including a football field, soccer field, and futsol field. All playing surfaces feature state-of-the-art turf that drains quickly and provides a level, sure-footed experience. The soccer field also has full stadium lights for a safe playing environment at night or on less-sunny days. Bring your NSU ID card for swipe access at the southwest corner gate. Take a virtual tour!


The Pavilion, located in between the soccer and football field, features two press boxes, a conference/event room, elevator, locker rooms, bathrooms, offices and more. To reserve this room, contact Administrative Assistant Tara Santjer at


Check Out and Play

Students and employees can borrow equipment such as spike-ball, beanbag boards, footballs, soccer balls and many other items.


Open Rec Hours

During open hours, facilities are available to all students and employees to craft their own recreational activities. If you need assistance, you can find staff in the football press box during open rec hours.


Open Rec Hours

Monday-Friday: 6-9 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday: 1-7 p.m.

Fields are closed during athletic events.

Follow NSU intramurals

Facebook NSUIntramurals

Instagram nsu_rec

Twitter @NsuRecreation

Football Field
Practice Field
Soccer Field
Other Facilities

Located on the main level of the Barnett Center, Northern's 25-yard pool features men's and women's locker rooms and a lifeguard. The pool is open to everyone during open swim hours. Take a virtual tour!

On the east edge of Northern's athletic and recreation fields are six fenced tennis courts available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The courts are not lighted, but have public restrooms and water fountains.

Open Swim Hours

Monday: 8-9 a.m., Noon-1 p.m., 8:45-9:30 p.m.

Tuesday: 7:30-9 a.m., 12:30-1:30 p.m., 8:45-9:30 p.m.

Wednesday: 8-9 a.m., Noon-1 p.m., 8:45-9:30 p.m.

Thursday: 7:30-9 a.m., 12:30-1:30 p.m., 8:45-9:30 p.m.

Wellness Center and Dacotah Gym FAQs

At the Wellness Center, people can change in restrooms located inside or near the center. Dacotah Hall's locker rooms offer restroom facilities, lockers (bring your own lock) and showers.

The Wellness Center has storage cabinets (not lockable) just inside the entrance. Dacotah Gym's locker rooms have lockers - just bring your own lock.

The Wellness Center and Dacotah Gym are only available to current students, staff and faculty.

Due to how often the track schedule changes, along with the schedule of the court itself, the best way to check is to just look at the track/court and see if anyone is using it, or check with the athletics secretary at 626-3336 or in Barnett Center 42. Dacotah Gym provides a popular spot for walking over the lunch hour.

Busy hours for the Wellness Center are usually from 6-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m.