CSUN’s student recreation center to open Spring 2012

The Recreation Center will open in Spring 2012 and offer students a bigger facility and more activities. Photo credit: Patrick Dilanchian / Assistant Photo Editor

Despite heavy winter rains, the new Student Recreation Center is still set to open in Spring 2012.

“We’re on time,” said Bryanne Knight, the Recreation Center’s project coordinator.

Construction of the complex is on pace to be finished in December 2011. Students, staff, and faculty will be able to step foot inside the new facility in Spring 2012, she added.

Aside from some minor set backs such as the recession and weather conditions, the steel structure is complete along with handrails and stairwells.

Due to the nationwide recession and a delay in the CSU’s budget, construction that was to begin in summer 2009 was pushed back to December 2009.

“The project was always planned to last for 2 years,” Knight said.

The task they are currently working on is installing the metal deck, which is a long process because they must cut solar tubes that bring in natural light, Knight said. A total of 144 of natural lighting spaces will be featured on the recreation center’s roof.

“The big milestone we are looking forward to is when the building can stay weather dry, meaning weather conditions won’t penetrate the building because doors and windows will already be in place,” Knight said. “Then, construction from the inside can begin and furnishing can be added.”

The Student Recreation Center building will look similar to the University Student Union’s Sol Center, with glass panels and an exterior metal skeleton. It will replace the current Fitness Center with a much larger facility and offer longer hours.

An indoor track, a climbing wall, a three court gym, workout studios including one built specifically for boxing, an outdoor pool, and a weight room three times bigger than the Fitness Center’s will be part of the building complex.

Activities such as rumba, boxing, yoga, indoor soccer, floor hockey, rock climbing and basketball are part of a long list of activities they plan to offer at the new recreation center.

Aside from all the new facilities and equipment, 200-300 student and professional positions will be hired through the USU to accommodate the expansion.

The project was voted on and approved by CSUN students in April 2007. They agreed to pay higher USU fees for the construction of the new building, aside from the USU’s $120 base fee. According to the Student Recreation Center’s website, the total USU fee for the 2006-2007 school year was $120 compared to $250 for the upcoming 2011-2012 school year, a 108 percent increase over four years.

Not all students are ecstatic about the new facility. John-Michael Salas, 21, political science major, is concerned with the funding and budget of the recreation center.

“For something (that cost) close to $100 million, they could have funded more classes. They could have started there,” Salas said. “It’s a good idea but given our financial situation they should have been more fiscally responsible.”

Knight said the Recreation Center membership will be free of charge to students.

“Once they pay tuition and student fees, they have access to use it,” Knight said.

She added that the they plan to accommodate students first.

“Alumni, faculty, and staff will be able to purchase a membership, however the community is not a priority.”

Freshman Karine Darabedyan, 18, criminology major, who played basketball and ran cross-country in high school also plans to get involved with the recreation center.

“That’s a good idea, people could be more (physically) active,” Darabedyan said.

The USU will be hosting “National Recreational Sports and Fitness Day” near the Sol Center on Feb. 22.

Kaila Lavin, 21, grad assistant for the Student Recreation Center, said this is an opportunity that students should take advantage of.

“We are putting on this event to promote campus recreation and the benefits of health and wellness,” Lavin said. They will be offering free snacks, sports competitions, and give-aways, as well as information about the recreation center,” Lavin added.

Lavin described the recreation center as a place for more than just sweat and exercise. They can go there to study, join a class, socialize with friends, lay out by the pool, read a book in one of the rooms, or chit-chat on the treadmill, she said.

“This is a place for them,” Lavine said. “I hope they are aware of the opportunities.”