December 3, 2020

Master plan includes new recreational facility

Sasaki has proposed that the current recreational facility in the lower level of the University Center be rebuilt. The firm wants more input from students about the qualities they’d like to see in the facility.

“The level of communication has been greater,” Tom Hart, athletic director, said. “I think there has been a level of understanding that what we have doesn’t work.”

Gunderson said the new recreational facility isn’t the first building on the university’s list to rebuild. However, when the time comes, student needs and wants in a new facility will be seriously considered.

“I would like to see an indoor track so I could do sprint workouts all year round,” A.J. Wallace, junior audio production major, said. “I also think we could benefit from having more power racks. Right now whenever the student athletes are in there (fitness center) they take up almost all of them.”

Aaron Obernuefemann, junior mathematics major, is on the track and field team at Webster. He said he doesn’t like when the track team does workouts in the lower level lobby.

“It feels cramped and awkward when students touring Webster walk by,” Obernuefemann said.

Obernuefemann would like to see an indoor track, weight room, pool and a gym in the new recreational facility. Some other college recreational facilities Obernuefemann said he liked were at Principia College, Illinois College and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

A new amenity Sasaki has suggested is an outdoor, rubberized mat right outside of the recreational facility. It would be made of recycled material flooring and could be used to do yoga and other low-impact activities.

“Tastes change,” Gunderson said. “We have to talk to today’s students about what they want in a recreational facility.”

Gunderson said not only will there be new amenities in the new recreational facility, but more space as well.

“Today we have a student union center that provides both activities under one roof and the vision the master plan has is to separate the two,” Gunderson said. “What they (Sasaki) showed us on paper was approximately twice as much squared footage as what we have today.”

Wallace said he still wants a new recreational facility to be free for students to use. However the costs involved in building this new recreational facility are to be discussed at a later date.

“We want to provide a high quality learning experience that transforms students and, when you think about a university, it isn’t just about the mind, but the body as well,” Gunderson said. “We need to have facilities that support all various personalities. We need all people to be successful here.”

Click to read about the proposed master plan’s larger student center.

 

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