CU’s Recreation Center will face a major change over the next year, and administrative plans focus primarily on leaving student workouts uninterrupted during the renovation process.
Last spring, CU students displayed their enthusiasm with over 7,000 votes in support of CUSG’s referendum for Rec Center updates. The renovation plan aims to renew the existing facility and increase the size of the facility by 30 percent, according to the Rec Center’s website.
File photo of the CU student recreation center. (CU Independent File/Robert R. Denton)
John Cholewa, a 19-year-old sophomore ecology and evolutionary biology major, said that he looks forward to having access to a larger workout space and more up-to-date equipment.
“I’m excited to get new stuff,” Cholewa said. “Sometimes it gets crowded, and since new students are coming in every year, it definitely needs to be upgraded.”
Originally built in 1973, the Rec Center was a model for other campuses upon its completion. It was responsible for accommodating the largest student body of the decade, Building Services Manager Dan Rummel said.
Since the center’s completion, the only renovation that has been made occurred in 1990, when a student vote approved a project that added an additional 63,000 square feet.
According to the Rec Center website, some aspects of the project include doubling the amount of space for weightlifting and cardiovascular training equipment, building a state-of-the-art climbing gym with a bouldering area and adding an outdoor aquatic facility and deck area.
Alex Foley, a 19-year-old sophomore communications major, said that her only concern about the renovation is having “somewhere to work out while they’re doing construction.”
Rummel said that addressing this concern is the primary goal for the project administrators.
“We want to go about making [the renovated Rec Center] with the least amount of impact on [the students],” Rummel said.
Rummel said that the administration wants to provide the best customer service possible because the students will still be paying fees during renovations.
These fees include the additional $121 to $125 added to tuition per semester over the next 25 years to pay for the renovations, in addition to the current fee of $98 each student already pays to use the Rec Center.
Rummel said that some institutions he has read about have shut down their recreation centers for a full year during renovations. Even though plans for the final phase have not been drawn up yet, Rummel said the goal is to build the new facility before renovating the current one.
This would allow the existing facility to remain open during renovation and for student workouts to remain, for the most part, unaffected over the next year. Equipment would then be moved to the new space upon its completion, which is set for Fall 2013. Renovations would begin in the original Rec Center after the equipment has been moved.
Rummel is enthusiastic about the responses so far and said that student feedback is an important part of the entire process.
“We have a lot of student groups and student participation with the plans moving forward, so we’re getting a lot of input,” Rummel said.
If students would like to become more involved in the Rec Center project, there is a forum taking place Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. in Conference Room Five in the Rec Center. All students are welcome to join and share their opinions and suggestions for the Rec Center renovations.
“We appreciate the students getting involved,” Rummel said. “It’s going to be a great project, and it’s great for them to be able to be involved with it, and be able to come back as alumni and enjoy it.”
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