Newly renovated rec center due to re-open for students Monday

Annie Furia and Annie Furia

After being closed for renovations since April 13, the Student Recreation Center will re-open at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, August 25.

All areas will be open except courts three and four, said Steve Kampf, director of recreation and wellness. These courts will be multi-activity courts, which are an “indoor soccer-like facility with dasher boards,” Kampf said. The courts are set to open in January.

For now, there are still plenty of renovated areas students will be able to use.

Almost all of the cardio equipment is new, which cost the University $650,000, Kampf said. Another new feature is the four multi-functional trainers stationed around the workout area.

“Each corner of this piece of equipment will have a workout tool,” Kampf said

The locker rooms are all brand new. Kampf said that day lockers are free to students, but overnight or private lockers will have a fee. The Rec website lists lockers available for semester and year-long rentals. The site says general lockers are available in half and full-size or students can rent private lockers, which include extra amenities such as “cable television, lock and towel service and close proximity to the shower area.”

The group exercise areas also “got a facelift,” Kampf said, including new flooring, paint and ceiling fans.

There are several new lounge areas. Kampf said the reason for this is that while people are in the Rec, they “don’t workout 100 percent [of the time]. There’s downtime.” The Rec will also have 22 flat screen televisions scattered around the facility.

In regards to the biggest change the Rec has seen, Kampf said, “I think [it’s] the openness of the facility, the easier access from one level to another.”

This year, the Rec will focus on retention. Kampf said if a student comes in more than 10 times a year, there’s a higher retention rate than students who come fewer times. “We have studies that can back that up,” Kampf said.

Before the renovation, Kampf said the center was used by 2200 to 2500 students. After the reopening, Kampf said the number would be “up over 3000, that’s my guess.”

There is also a focus on recruiting new students. Kampf said that a university’s student recreation center does have an impact on whether or not a student chooses that university. Due to its influence, “it’s either the first or the last stop on the admissions tour,” he said.

When the Rec re-opens, it will be the newest student recreation center in Ohio, Kampf said.

According to a previous BG News article, the original budget for the renovation was $11 million, which was revised to $13.4 million. Project Manager for Design & Construction Ryan Miller said the budget was raised when “additional funds were found and approved.” Deciding what renovations were needed “was a collaborative effort between design teams and campus operations,” Miller said.

According to Kampf, the renovation ended up costing about $17 million, but “there are no new student fees attached to this.” Kampf also said, “A large amount of [the recreation center] is funded by the Falcon Health Center no longer being funded by the University.”

Senior Communications Director Dave Kielmeyer clarified in an email why the cost went up. He wrote that additions in the form of “enhancements to the multi-activity court, a parking lot expansion, the addition of an outdoor volleyball court and patio area, expanded locker rooms, and other design enhancements to the building” added about $1.4 million to the project. Kielmeyer also added that during the renovation the Department of Recreation and Wellness “took the opportunity to fix a number of maintenance issues that needed to be addressed including: roof repairs, electrical updates, and upgrades to the HVAC system (heating, ventilation and air conditioning). The cost of those repairs was about $1.8 million.”

One goal of the renovation was to brand it to the University, said Kampf. The University logo appears on floors, walls and equipment through the recreation center and orange and brown are prominent colors.

“You’re going to know you’re in Bowling Green when you’re in here,” Kampf said.

When the recreation center re-opens on Monday, Kampf said people “won’t believe it’s the same building.”