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Eight Great Ways to Experience the Barnes Center at The Arch

Care for the whole person—mind, body and spirit—is accessible to our campus community under one roof.
Barnes Center main entrance, with blue sky and trees reflected in the glass around the door.

What does a focus on holistic health mean? It means paying attention to the multidimensional aspects of wellness, and recognizing and honoring the interconnectedness of physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual states. The Barnes Center at The Arch, a leading-edge facility that opened in 2019, is committed to this approach. That’s why, under the same roof, you’ll find both full-suite athletic and weight training facilities and a full-service pharmacy; counseling services and climbing walls; meditation rooms and an esports room; space for group sports and space to just get in the zone, doing your thing.

There’s something for everyone at the Barnes Center! Take a virtual tour:

And, check out these eight great ways to enjoy the center:

Four people climbing on multi-colored interior climbing wall.

1. Get a toehold

Has being inside studying for hours got you climbing the walls? Great idea! Head down to the basement floor at the center and you’ll find two 48-foot climbing walls and a bouldering section where you can challenge yourself. There are routes for all experience levels, a range of skills clinics, and all necessary equipment, including shoes, is available free for Syracuse University and SUNY ESF students.

Man with headphones on sitting in front of a computer

2. Good games

You probably already know that esports promote teamwork, strategic thinking and communication and leadership skills. But did you know that, whether you’re an experienced pro or new to this arena, the esports room is open to the whole campus community? Featuring a library of games, 36 gaming stations, a virtual reality unit and six consoles for Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo, the room’s stocked with everything you need to join this thriving scene at any level. You can learn more about the Esports Club Team, or check out esports programs, training clinics and league opportunities on the Wellness Portal.

Overhead view of fitness facility with people using weight training and cardio machines

3. Sets, reps and cardio

Barbells and other weigh training equipment.

Feel like working out? At the Barnes Center, you have four floors—imagine half a football stadium’s worth of square footage—with over 250 pieces of state-of-the-art cardio and strength training equipment to choose from, as well as plenty of space for stretching. You can sign up for a fitness orientation to get a thorough introduction to what’s available and work with a personal trainer, if you wish, to help you achieve your goals.

Group of six people in yoga poses in a room with wood floor.

4. Werk it

Group fitness classes can be as rewarding emotionally as they are physically. There’s just something about the camaraderie born of accomplishing a challenge, together. Whether you’re looking for aquatics, spin, dance, yoga—or a combination of all!—you’ll likely find it in the wide range of classes to choose from.

Overhead view of people playing basketball on interior court.

5. Shoot some hoops

Grab some friends and join a pickup game or sign up for an intramural basketball team! These four regulation size courts (that’s a full half acre of squeaky maple flooring…) are equipped with nets too. The spaces can be divided by curtains into distinct activity areas, and you’ll find open rec times reserved for volleyball and badminton throughout the week.

A young man petting a large dog's head

6. Tail-wagging and smiles

Science has proven what any dog lover already knows: petting our furry friends makes us less stressed and more relaxed—it can even reduce physical pain! Maybe it’s the unconditional love in their eyes or that they’re totally unselfconscious about their breath… whatever it is, we love these dogs, and they love to be loved. So check the schedule, come get a slobbery kiss on the nose, and feel all the better for it!

View of interior pool.

7. Keeping our heads above water

The pool has it all. Laps? Sure—there’s plenty of space in the six-lane, 25-yard pool. Or maybe you want to rock climb AND swim? No problem—that’s what that climbing wall is for. And then, when you’re ready to relax, you can soak in the big S-shaped spa. FYI, groups can reserve the spa pool for events and the facility walls are equipped with giant screens for showing movies and streaming sports events. The pool also has a zero-degree entry, so it’s accessible to all our community members.

8. Peace of mind

Four people sitting in meditation.

The benefits of meditation include lasting relaxation, a quieting and focusing of the mind, and the gain of compassion and clarity. Whether you prefer to practice on your own or with a group, the Meditation Room provides space for anyone looking for calm and a chance to build those valuable internal resources.

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