By ZACH CLARK
Sounds of dump trucks driving, cranes moving and construction workers yelling over the equipment is what you would hear if you walk past the Student Recreation and Wellness Center at Kennesaw State University.
A portion of the current recreation center is still open but it’s hard not to notice the construction of the new gym right behind it.
The new Betty L. Siegel Student Recreation Center is going to be expanding the gym from 45,000 square feet to 173,000 square feet. Not only is this gym going to have much more space, it is also going to have a variety of new features. Some of those features include swimming pools, an indoor track, a multi-activity court gym, indoor rock climbing wall and four indoor basketball courts.
As of right now, the Student Recreation and Wellness Center in its limited space only has a cardio floor, strength floor and a couple group exercise studios which makes it more of a gym than a recreational center.
“I think it’s going to be an actual recreation center. It’s a hangout spot,” said Adam York, facilities and special events coordinator. “The Mac gym will have skating appropriate floor. Who knows, we might have skate night.”
Many different ideas and events, like the skate night, can now happen with this expansion.
“I think it’s going to be a mainstay on campus for students are going to gravitate towards,” said York. “Most of the program areas are going to substantially grow because they are going to have more space.”
The new recreation center is opening up in phases. The next phase is to be done in October of this year, which includes the majority of the recreation center. The rest of it is to be done in February of 2015.
The recreation center has come a long way since the opening of KSU. The very first gym was opened in 1965 and it was made for the physical education classes. Then academics moved in and in 1989, a south addition was added to facility. In 2005, the latest addition was added to the north side, which is what is there now.
“This is something that the students deserve,” said Donald Brookshire, associate director of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. “They are deserving of this facility because they haven’t had anything like this for a university our size.”
The current student population of KSU is 24,600 and growing with the addition of Southern Polytechnic University in 2015.
“Currently, 30 percent of KSU students use the recreation center,” said Brookshire.
That means that out of 24,600 students, 7,380 of them use the recreation center which is a large amount of students for only 45,000 square feet of a facility.
The design of the new recreation center has its students and community in mind.
“It’s going to cater to a more well-balanced student. It will help them in their studies. It’s like an equation: a healthy student equals a well-balanced student,” said Brookshire. “The community is going to be better in a way. It’s going to bring more students to the community.”