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New Recreation Center entrance to be completed by January; final renovations to be completed by fall 2014

The Student Recreation Center is still in the process of being renovated, but things should be falling into place by January.

The University plans to have the Rec Center renovations completed by next fall.

“Ideally, we would have it done by the time students come back for the first day of classes,” said Steve Kampf, Director of Recreation Wellness.

The renovation of the Rec Center began in August of this semester.

“We are four months into the renovation now,” Kampf said.

The $13.4 million renovation began in fall 2011 and will include $600,000 worth of new equipment. About 75 percent of the current equipment will be replaced.

“We’re trying to update everything from new weights and cardio machines,” Kampf said, “These are things that students asked for.”

There has been a lot of work with demolition.

“The entire inside has been gutted, which means the wood is gone and the floor has been taken up,” Kampf said.

A lot of work has been done outside as well. Some of the construction in the front of the building can be seen by simply walking by.

“People, if they walk by, can see the reconstruction of the entrance being set up right now,” Kampf said. “You can’t see much over the fence but you can get a peek of what’s going on.”

The front entrance should take shape by January, Kampf said.

The construction hasn’t had much of an effect on the amount of students who go to the rec on a regular basis.

“You know, we thought there would be a huge drop off,” Kampf said. “But in reality there’s really only been a 3 to 5 percent decrease in students who use the Rec center.”

A decrease in participation has been seen in other areas of rec.

“The number of participants in the pool has dropped off a lot,” Kampf said, “It’s difficult to get into, its not as easily accessible as other parts of the Rec Center.”

The main weight area of the Rec has not had much of a decrease, which is a big surprise, Kampf said.

Some students say that the renovations are a slight interference.

“I go to the Rec four times a week,” senior Marlin Pickens said. “Because of the renovations there is only one court open for basketball.”

Senior Brionna Powell said she agrees that the renovations interfere with her working out at the Rec Center.

“I used to use the Rec often,” Powell said. “But not recently since the renovations have happened because it’s a bit inconvenience and the set up inside is constricting.”

Other students are excited to see how the Rec Center will look once it is completed.

“I try to attend the rec at least twice a week,” sophomore Mariah Mayes said. “I can’t wait to see it and how different it will look when it is finished.”

Rec Center faculty and student employees look forward to seeing the finished product.

“We’re very excited, but we know we have to be patient,” Kampf said.

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