The exterior of the newly renovated Ralph S. O’Connor Center for Recreation and Well-Being

Credit: Will Kirk / Johns Hopkins University


O'Connor Center for Recreation and Well-being reopens at Homewood

Bigger, better, brighter spaces will welcome fitness enthusiasts back to the facility, which features new and improved programming and a reinvigorated focus on wellness

The newly expanded and renovated Ralph S. O'Connor Center for Recreation and Well-Being makes its debut today, welcoming all J-card holders to meet their fitness goals in a brighter space featuring expanded access and class offerings.

Like that friend who spent lockdown getting into the best shape of their life, the rec center has been focusing on its own fitness since construction started in spring 2020. Visitors who walk through the brand-new entrance will find a flood of natural light, a café, places to relax and connect with friends, and more spaces dedicated to health and well-being, wrote Director of Athletics and Recreation Jen Baker and Senior Associate Director of Athletics and Director of Recreation and Facilities Bill Harrington in an email to the Homewood community earlier this week.

New amenities in the building, which opened in 2002, include state-of-the-art cardio equipment and an expanded weight room. There are more group fitness offerings tailored to meet and exceed the needs of the entire Johns Hopkins community. Classes will be held in larger spaces that are more comfortable, engaging, and convenient, with a dedicated cycling studio and an F45 studio that has doubled in size. Functional training classes will be fully stocked with all the latest tools, and yoga classes will be set in a secluded and peaceful space. A class schedule and registration links can be found on the Follow Me to the Rec app, available on Google Play, or in the Apple app store.

The rec center is open to all students, faculty, and staff from the Homewood and Peabody campuses. Simply show your J-card at the front desk—there is no fee to use the facility during its inaugural week. Later this month, the rec center will begin selling memberships, along with towel service and locker service, for all members of the Johns Hopkins community who would like to join.

The $27 million expansion is funded in part by a generous gift from entrepreneur and philanthropist Ralph O'Connor, a Hopkins alum, former trustee, and longtime supporter of student life at his alma mater. O'Connor, who died in December 2018, had pledged his support of this renovation before his death and previously gave the lead gift for the recreation center that bears his name.

Masks are required throughout the facility, regardless of vaccination status. Questions? Call the welcome desk at 410-516-4434, the recreation office at 410-516-5229, or email