A 65,000 square-foot indoor rec centre is now open to the public at the University of Waterloo.

The $16.5 million facility was unveiled to regional residents on Tuesday morning.

The CIF Fieldhouse is located just north of the Warriors’ football field and is an extension of the existing Columbia Icefield.

Representative for the university says the large investment will benefit both students and the community for many years to come.

“It’s been a huge priority recreationally for our students,” said Roly Webster, the director of athletics and recreation for the university. “But it will have great impact on our community.

“We engage our community through camps, clinics, and rentals, and we’ll treat this facility very much the same.”

The facility took roughly 16 months to build and features brand new turf, nets, scoreboards, and a divider.

University teams and students have already been using the fieldhouse for a few weeks.

“Now we have more time on the field,” said Larissa McLeod, captain of University of Waterloo’s field hockey team. “Throughout the winter we’ll be training, we can have exhibition games in here, and we’ll be working harder in the offseason.”

The fieldhouse is expected to support both competitive and recreational teams.