The weight room at the University of New Mexico39s Johnson Center is used by physical education classes and the availability for other students is restricted Photo from University of New Mexico

The weight room at the University of New Mexico's Johnson Center is used by physical education classes, and the availability for other students is restricted. (Photo from University of New Mexico)

University of New Mexico Begins Planning for Expanded Recreation Center

Officials want to upgrade facilities to make them comparable to other universities.

The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque has begun planning a major renovation and expansion of the Johnson Center, the university's only recreation facility on the main campus where students can exercise and play.

Upgrading the Johnson Center is one of five capital projects that the university has selected as priorities. The facility is heavily used--New Mexico counted more than 1.3 million visitors in 2014--but its amenities are described as sub-par and not competitive compared with comparable universities.

For instance, the weight room in the Johnson Center is used mostly by physical education classes and access to other students is restricted. 

"The proposed renewal and expansion project is intended to increase access to recreational, fitness, health and wellness resources for the entire UNM community," the university said.

As part of the planning effort, the university is soliciting input from students to determine what amenities and programs should be part of an expanded recreation center.

The features that New Mexico envisions adding at an expanded Johnson Center include a climbing wall, strength and cardio space, dance studios, group exercise space, an indoor track, a multi-activity court, martial art studio and indoor cycling.

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