Universities Plan for New Rec Centers


NATIONWIDE — Reflecting what is now becoming a university standard, four universities are at different stages in their plans for new recreation centers. California State University Sacramento (Sacramento State) is in the beginning of its process, recently announcing it received a $10 million gift for a planned $73 million Recreation, Wellness and Events Center.

Real estate developer and San Diego Chargers owner Alex G. Spanos and his wife, Faye, gave the cornerstone donation for Sacramento State's new center and for the remodeling of Hornet Stadium. The proposed 236,000-square-foot multi-purpose center will include a new student health center, fitness center, rock-climbing wall, swimming pool, athletic courts, bowling center, conference center and an 8,000-seat arena for events such as commencement and intercollegiate athletics.

The new center passed a referendum vote of the students in April 2004 upon a pledge that the University President Alexander Gonzalez would raise $23 million toward the building. Student fees have increased $10 per semester, and once the university raises its portion, student fees for the center will increase to a total of $110 per semester.

In the meantime, California State University, Fresno (Fresno State) is poised to start construction on its $17.6 million recreational and multipurpose facility. The two-story, 92,000-square-foot rec center will include a 13,000-square-foot fitness center and two academic components — the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Leon and Pete Peters Education Center. The fitness facility includes cardiovascular equipment and free weights.

The building is financed by a $49 per semester fee referendum passed by students in November 2000, under the stipulation that the fee increase would not start until the opening of the facility. The project is scheduled for completion in December 2005.

The first-floor of the building will have two racquetball courts; two aerobic and dance studios that will offer classes for students; four full-size courts for intramural basketball, badminton and volleyball games; shower/locker rooms and multipurpose meeting/game rooms. The second floor will have a jogging/running track and room for additional fitness equipment, plus administrative and staff offices. The east side of the building will include an outdoor terrace with tables and chairs and a lawn area.

“Having the rec center on campus will drive home the message that physical activity and recreation are key elements in the health and well-being of active college students,” Molly Fagundes, president of Associated Students Inc., said.

Central Washington University (CWU) in Ellensburg, WA, has broken ground for its new $40.7 million, 228,261-square-foot Student Union and Recreation Center, which is scheduled to open in January 2006. The center will be three-stories tall and include a four-court gymnasium, elevated running track, rock-climbing wall, fitness/cardiovascular and strength training areas, group exercise rooms, outdoor equipment rentals and locker rooms.

The student union component, scheduled to open in April 2006, will include dining services, the University Store, tenant spaces, a theater, meeting rooms, student government and administrative offices, and the student radio station.

The University of Akron just dedicated its Student Recreation Center and Athletics Field House as part of a $300-million, five-year campus improvement program.

The field house features a 120-yard AstroPlay field, 300-meter Mondo track, a strength and conditioning center, an indoor golf facility, football locker rooms and spectator seating for 1,200. The golf facility includes a putting green, bunker, a video player development simulator and a study lounge for student-athletes.

The Akron rec center includes an elevated running track, courts, a rock-climbing wall, recreational pool and a weight room.

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