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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Rec expansion faces last vote

    An effort to expand the Campus Recreation Center and eliminate long lines outside the weight room faces its last hurdle tomorrow as the Arizona Board of Regents prepares to cast its final vote on the project.

    Juliette Moore, director of campus recreation, said the cost of the renovation is going to be $22.5 million.

    Moore said the expansion will likely include more space for the fitness room, which currently falls well below the industry standard. She said fitness rooms are expected to have one square foot of floor space per student enrolled, but currently, the Rec Center has a third of that.

    “”When I arrived on the job 10 years ago, I knew it was too small,”” Moore said.

    Moore said the plans also call for a bouldering wall instead of a full-scale climbing wall, to accommodate more users and help introduce people to the sport.

    A regent-approved $25 fee every student pays along with tuition will fund the expansion until 2011, when the fee expires.

    But students voted in November to extend the fee until the project is finished.

    Joel Valdez, UA vice president of business affairs, said the board’s capital committee already approved the fee extension, which will go before the full board with a recommendation to pass.

    Valdez said he is confident regents will vote for the expansion project.

    Moore said she isn’t worried, either. The expansion has a lot of student support, she said, citing the November vote.

    The Rec Center fitness room gets so busy between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. that a line to get in sometimes extends many feet beyond the door, said Manny Romero, a physical education senior and fitness supervisor.

    “”The need is obviously there,”” Romero said.

    Melissa Vrabel, a health education senior and fitness supervisor, said she feels most students who use the Rec Center are in favor of the expansion because they are aware of the conditions.

    If they don’t approve the extension, the project will get killed, Valdez said, but he doesn’t know what the current $25 fee on the books would pay for until 2011.

    Moore said plans for the expansion are constantly changing due to the fluctuating costs of construction, but the budget will be frozen at $22.5 million.

    “”We’re hoping to get the best bang for the students’ buck,”” Moore said.

    One of the things initial planners had hoped for, a multi-purpose activity court that could include basketball and volleyball courts as well as courts for indoor hockey and soccer, has been eliminated, Moore said.

    However, Moore said she is fighting to get the court back onto plans for the expansion, even given the constraints of a fixed budget.

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