The new Northwestern University Sailing Center is open for summer fun on the Evanston campus. Just feet from Lake Michigan’s shore on the south end of campus, the $2.5-million project replaces a small wooden building that served as the University’s boathouse since the 1970s.

The Sailing Center is open to the campus community and the public for lessons, rentals, and memberships. Activities offered at the center include sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and stand-up paddle board yoga. The center is also home to Northwestern's sailing team, a club sport with 50 to 70 student participants who compete in the Midwest Collegiate Sailing Association.

The old boathouse lacked creature comforts such as bathrooms, a classroom, heat, and air conditioning. The new building has all those amenities, plus changing rooms and lockers. Purple garage doors make it easy to move equipment in and out while keeping sails, boards, paddles, and life jackets clean and secure.

Aside from the purple doors, the 5,000-square-foot concrete structure is sand-colored and blends in with the beach. The building officially opened in late June and is expected to have more than 1,000 visitors by the end of summer, said Tadhg Martin, the center's director. Many of those visitors will be children from the Evanston community.

For more information about lessons, membership, camps, and more, contact the Sailing Center at 847-491-4142 or

For more stories from this month's Alumni News, visit the NAA on Our Northwestern, the University's online community.