A panoramic photo of the lobby area at the Nicholas Recreation Center

Nicholas Recreation Center

When & Where

The Nicholas Recreation Center (Nick) is the first major building project of the Master Plan and the second overall project after the Near West Fields. The name of the facility honors the late Albert “Ab” Nicholas, his wife Nancy, and the Nicholas family. It’s home to 30,000 square feet of fitness space, 8 courts, 5 studios, a 50-meter pool and diving well, and more.

We’re currently operating at 25% capacity on a first-come, first-served basis. Click the button below to check the current occupancy.


Nicholas Recreation Center

797 W Dayton Street
Madison, WI 53715
(608) 262-8244

Daily Schedules

Hours of Operation

To protect the health and safety of our community, facility occupancy at the Nick will initially be limited to 25%. Reservations are not available. Please visit our COVID-19 Response page to learn more.

Information and hours for the Soderholm Family Aquatic Center can be found here.


December 22 – January 18
December 22 6am – 6:30pm
December 23 – January 18 CLOSED
January 19 – 24
Tuesday – Friday 6am – 8pm
Saturday – Sunday 10am – 6pm

Spring HOURS

January 25 – February 7
Monday – Friday 6am – 8pm
Saturday – Sunday 10am – 6pm
February 8 – May 9
Monday – Thursday 6am – 10pm
Friday 6am – 8pm
Saturday 8am – 8pm
Sunday 8am – 10pm


Commencement Weekend
May 8 – 9 8am – 8pm


Live Building Usage

Nick Level 1 Fitness

Nick Level 2 Fitness

Nick Power House

Nick Track

Facility Features

SERF  The Nick
Usable square footage 124,000 170,145
Gross square footage 192,170 240,560
Fitness square footage 8,500 30,400
Full-size basketball courts 4 8
Fitness studios/multipurpose studios  1 (4,600 sq. ft.) 5 (12,575 sq. ft.)
Pool short course lanes (maximum) 16 27
Diving well No Yes
Pool spectator seating None 1,000


  • 5 levels of activity space, all with abundant natural light
  • 30,400 square feet dedicated to cardio and strength fitness spaces
  • 8 full size basketball courts for multiple activities, including basketball, volleyball, badminton, futsal, and special events
  • 5 multi-purpose studios to use for group fitness, indoor cycling, small group training programs, sport club practices, and student organizations
  • Functional training sprint ramp leading up to a suspended threelane indoor track measuring one-sixth of a mile
  • More than 300 day-use lockers throughout activity spaces with built-in locks to secure personal belongings and prevent theft
  • Dedicated personal training suite for assessments and private consultations
  • Multiple open areas throughout the facility to allow for stretching, core work, and functional training
  • 2 racquetball courts
  • Dedicated cycle room with theater-style audio, visual, and enhanced lighting
  • 50-meter pool (convertible to two 25-yard pools) featuring 27 total possible short course lanes and 25-yard diving well
  • Future home for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Swimming and Diving teams
  • ADA accessible pool with operable pool floor allowing for zero-depth entry, shallow-water training, and competition lap swimming
  • Private shower stalls in both men’s and women’s locker rooms
  • All-gender and single-use bathrooms and showers
  • Bathrooms on every level of the facility
  • Fully ADA-accessible spaces, providing fitness opportunities for all users
  • Multiple views within the facility of signature landmarks in Madison, including the State Capitol and Lake Mendota