Recreation Center renovations won’t add fees for students

The renovations happening to the Student Recreation Center won’t cost students as much as they may think.

The Rec is currently undergoing $13.4 million in renovations, and there will be over $600,000 of new equipment in the center, said Steve Kampf, assistant director of Student Affairs and director of recreation and wellness.

“There will be no new fees [for students] as a result of the health center being taken over by Wood County Hospital,” he said. “The general fee used to fund the health center is being used to pay off the bond on the Rec Center.”

Senior Alyssa Piccolomini said, “It is nice we do not have pay additional fees because we already pay so much.”

Despite the fact she will be studying abroad her final semester at the University, she still must pay the general fees.

“I still have to pay for it and I won’t even be here to use it again,” Piccolomini said.

One of the changes students can expect is there will be two separate entrances and exits into the facility.

There will be an entrance that leads into the aquatics area, and the other will lead to the weights, cardio, group exercise and basketball courts, Kampf said.

Kampf said there are multiple reasons why renovations to the Rec are important.

One of the main reasons for renovating the Rec is it can no longer compete with the other schools is the state, Kampf said.

“The age of the facility is getting close to 35 years,” he said. “The infrastructure is starting to falter and is becoming quite costly.”

As well as the building physically needing renovations, Kampf said the Rec is a good tool to help with retention.

“Studies we have done show that students who use the rec center are retained at a higher rate than those students who do not,” he said.

Alex Solis, the Undergraduate Student Government president, said students who currently use the Rec have had problems with it.

“The majority of students weren’t happy with it for a long time,” he said.

Kampf said the main thing currently different is about 95 percent of the wood paneling is gone inside.

“We are in demolition mode right now,” Kampf said.

Solis has been working on the Rec Center renovation project since his freshman year.

As well as retention, the Rec Center also assists with the enrollment at a university.

“What’s interesting about the Rec is no matter your major you use it,” he said. “It’s like the student union, it’s a focal point of the whole undergraduate student body.”

The renovations to the Rec are not absolutely necessary, Solis said, however, he said they are “much needed.”

“The Rec Center is functional but when you look at the competition we lack completely in usage and operation of the facility,” he said.

One thing Solis particularly wanted to see changed at the Rec was the navigation.

“There was no direct pathway between the whole building, you’re always weaving in and out of staircases curving and going to the back of the Rec to go to the basement or the [winding] staircase that goes up to the cardio area,” he said. “I wanted to identify a staircase from top to bottom that is much easier to navigate.”

The goal is to have the Rec fully reopened by the Fall of 2014.