Jan 232005
Authors: Megan Buettgenbach

Some small changes were made at the Student Recreation Center over break but more can be expected throughout the semester.

Students no longer have to dream about a gym with a spinning room, a modern lobby or a place where giant banners of nature and athletic scenes enhance the atmosphere of the facilities.

Lance Freeman, senior associate director of operations at the recreation center, said there have been long stretches since the recreation center has been renovated.

The recreation center was built in 1989 but new developments have not been made since 1999.

"We are trying to update and get more things that students want," Freeman said.

The upcoming renovations include the conversion of the racquetball court, located next to the circuit training room, into a spinning room by mid-March.

People who are interested in playing racquetball will be able to play at Moby Arena.

The room will include 16 spin bikes, a large stereo and a wraparound banner of a nature scene, Freeman said. The walls will be painted green and large discs painted with clouds will hang from the ceiling.

Many banners will decorate the recreation center to give it a more updated look. These banners measure approximately 8 feet by 16 feet. When placed in a series, they will depict either a nature or an athletic scene.

The banners will be placed in the weight room, circuit area, pool, aerobic room and cardio area.

"I think that it'll look good," said junior business management major Laurie Woodard. "It's not something that has to be done, but it will make (the recreation center) look nicer."

Other improvements include a new lobby, a new intramural sports desk, new pool lights and fresh coats of paint.

The patio on the south side of the recreation center was improved in November and the remodeling of the press box for the baseball fields will be done by Jan. 22.

However, some students feel these improvements are unnecessary.

"I think that if we have all the equipment we have and make sure it is good quality then that it is what we want," Woodard said. "That is the most important thing."

Rob Mosher, a senior marketing major and membership services coordinator for the recreation center, believes these are positive changes for the recreation center.

"Basically, the benefits of creating a newer rec center will help better the well being of students and their pride in the campus," Mosher said. "I think having a more inviting rec center will have more appeal to students who would not normally enter the building."

Freeman agrees and said the recreation center's mission is to serve the students and reach more people.

The patio is one place where Freeman thinks this may happen. It is open for any students to use and will be equipped with wireless Internet so anyone can go there to work online.

Patio furniture and a grill will also be set out in the spring when the weather gets warmer, Freeman said. These can be used by student groups for meetings and get-togethers.

Another potential addition may be in the works for 2009, Freeman said.

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