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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Students anticipate ‘Big Green Event’

    Newcomers to the UA and even many returning students may still be a little uninformed as to what is happening to the Student Recreation Center. When it comes to the Rec Center, many students run into a series of dilemmas, whether it be time, crowded facilities or sheer dread of the place.

    “”Going to the Rec is intimidating,”” said Courtney Samoly, a marketing junior. “”There are never enough machines, and I hate having to sign up and wait for a workout.”” Samoly currently has a membership at a nearby LA Fitness instead of utilizing the on-campus facilities.

    The long wait is almost over. Students can look forward to less crowding once the Rec Center opens its new expansion in January.

    “”We saw a need when the doors opened that the existing space was too small,”” said Juliette Moore, the director of Campus Recreation.

    Moore said that many students have gotten tired of waiting in line to use the equipment and recent budget cuts have decreased the number of hours the facility is open.

    The opening is being called the “”Big Green Event”” by the Rec Center because its state-of-the-art facilities are groundbreaking in green architecture. 

    Currently, a number of programs are offered by the student recreation center, including fitness classes, intramural programs and club sports. These programs provide students with multiple opportunities to get involved and to stay fit, but some students still have qualms with the current state of the Rec Center.

    The existing facility has roughly 50 cardio machines accessible to students. The expansion will open with 104 cardio machines and space to eventually accommodate 146 machines.

    Students will no longer have nothing but space to stare at while getting their cardio workout. The new machines will have individual TV screens built in, providing the user with entertainment during their workout. Additionally, each machine will have a headphone outlet so that students can plug in and listen to their favorite show or tune into their favorite station on Sirius Satellite Radio.

    The expansion is about 30,000 square feet and additional amenities include a new weight room, sand volleyball courts, a bouldering station modeled after Mt. Lemmon and a multipurpose activity court also known as the MAC.

    The MAC will be available for different kinds of activities like indoor soccer, floor hockey and basketball. The court is surrounded by glass walls and features boxes for the teams to sit in during games.

    News and details about the expansion have some students excited about the possibilities.

    “”The current Rec is outdated, and I think the new equipment could make the Rec more competitive with LA Fitness,”” said Heather Chadwell, a retail junior. “”Students won’t feel like they need to go somewhere else for the proper equipment.””

    So how is the university paying for all this?

    In 1990, UA students voted to pay a $25 fee each semester for the construction of a student recreation center. This fee would normally cease in 2011 when the bond retires, but 73 percent of students passed a student referendum in November 2005 to continue this fee to pay for the expansion.

    The fee that students are paying will not begin going toward the expansion until 2011, after the expansion has already opened, so that students are not paying for something they will not be able to use.

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