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Several Rec Centers Under Construction

NATIONWIDE – The spring semester has ended, but several colleges and universities are still hard at work planning, constructing or adding to their student recreation centers.

At the University of Kansas, the student recreation and fitness center is undergoing the first phase of an expansion, which will provide two basketball courts and two synthetic surface courts that will allow for students to play indoor hockey or soccer. The expansion, funded by the sale of seats in KU’s Allen Fieldhouse by the athletics department, also includes an extension to the indoor track, making it a quarter-mile around, according to The University Daily Kansan. There will be two new racquetball courts and an expanded free weight area along with a new martial arts studio and a virtual golf course.

The board of regents at Texas State University recently approved a $31 million construction project on an expanded student recreation center. Work is scheduled to begin this month on the 94,000-square-foot expansion, according to the Austin Business Journal, and is expected to be completed by the fall of 2008. The expanded center will include an eight-lane lap pool and swimming pool; a rock climbing facility; an expanded workout area; additional basketball and volleyball courts and an indoor soccer court; a golf simulator; a computer lab; and a snack bar and lounge area.

Construction is already under way on a new 89,000-square-foot recreation center at the University of Maine. The $25 million center, designed as an energy efficient and environmentally friendly facility, is scheduled to be completed by September, according to the Bangor Daily News. The center will include three basketball-volleyball courts; a 14,000-square-foot fitness center with free weights, selecterizor weights and aerobic equipment; two multipurpose rooms for aerobics and yoga; an elevated indoor track; a multiple activity court; a leisure pool and spa; and men’s, women’s and family locker rooms.

University of Vermont officials are pushing forward with plans for a $50-60 million athletic and recreational complex, according to the Burlington Free Press. Vermont was recently ranked in the nation’s top 10 schools for fitness by Men’s Fitness magazine. But the 8,000-square-foot Gucciardi Fitness & Recreation Center is often overcrowded. Kyle Ashton, a elementary education student at Vermont, recalled a long line at the front door of the center after Christmas break. “There was so many people that the fitness center would have been past fire code,” Ashton told the Free Press. “We had to wait outside. When one person walked out, one person could walk in.”

Indiana State University President Lloyd Benjamin has donated $25,000 toward a new student recreation center, which is slated for groundbreaking this summer, according to the Terre Haute Tribune-Star. In April 2006, the board of trustees granted Benjamin a $25,000 raise, raising eyebrows at the time because school employees were told there was not enough money to give them raises. Benjamin made his pledge during last year’s trustees’ meeting, according to the Tribune-Star, but hadn’t donated the funds until last month.

TAGS: Universities
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