By TYLER DUKE
The Kennesaw State Recreational Center is quickly approaching its grand opening, and the buzz is growing as students wait to use the facility.
The KSU recreational center has been under construction since 2013. It’s now in its final stages of development before opening up to a student body of over 31thousand. The center features some advanced amenities like the Olympic-style indoor pool.
kara Parker is the director of the department of sports and recreation. She expects the facility to open very soon.
“At this point, I don’t have an exact date. We’re hopeful that we can get the facility open by the end of next month,” she said.
The new recreation center has more upgraded amenities than the previous KSU recreational center. Parker noted the increase in basketball courts from one to four and the increase of square feet for the weights area, as well as some unique additions.
“We have an outdoor leisure pool that has a spa and whirlpool to it.
We have a climbing gym with a climbing tower that is 46 feet tall and a bouldering wall that is 15 feet,” said Parker.
In addition to all of the indoor features, the facility will feature an outdoor adventures park. Students can have bikes repaired, rent out kayaks, and even go on free, outdoor trips.
Ed Baltes is the bike shop manager at KSU. He helps repair bikes for free and lends bikes to students. Baltes also coordinates trips like white water rafting or mountain biking. He is excited about what the expansion will do for his program.
“Before this new facility, it was very hard to run our program out of a four-thousand square foot closet. Now we have the ability to be completely self-supported. Now if we go kayaking, instead of paying a vendor, we can actually take our own equipment,” he said.
Baltes will be running a program where KSU students go to locations off-campus to repair bikes and supply in-need citizens with free bikes for transportation.
“It doesn’t only teach these kids how to be productive members of the community, but it also teaches our community that KSU really does care, and we’re here to help,” said Baltes.
The new recreational center is another addition of a world-class facility to the growing KSU. The school has upgraded classrooms, the dining hall, the recreational center, and many other areas on campus in its hope of becoming a world-class university.
“I think this recreation facility will give students more opportunities to participate outside of the classroom and hopefully enhance their education experience here,” Parker said.
The 38 point seven million dollar project will be named the Doctor Betty L Siegel Student Recreation and Activities Center. Siegel was the president at KSU for 25 years, which is the longest tenure of any president in the university’s history.
Until the new recreational center opens, Kennesaw State is handing out free passes to You-Fit for students looking for access to a gym.