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After years of planning by students and administration, Missouri State University broke ground Friday on the new University Recreation Center. This facility, at approximately 100,000 square feet, will offer students a central spot for recreation with numerous state of the art amenities. Though, in the current economic state, not all students are in favor of the new facility. KSMU’s Adam Murphy reports.
Many people involved in the planning process for the new center were excited to see this day arrive after years of collaboration and hard work. Andrew Garton is the student chair of the recreation center building and planning committee.
“To see that an initiative really driven by students come to life on our campus, one of the largest student-driven initiatives on campus before, it lets you know that students really do have a voice here at Missouri State, and their needs are truly being considered and met to make this campus a world-class facility for all students now and in the future,” said Garton.
Some students, however, have expressed concern for the construction of the new facility while the university is facing eminent budget cuts. Garton understands their concerns, but he says it’s important not to forget the initiative created by the students.
“Students wanted it, it will help keep Missouri State cutting edge, it will help keep Missouri State competitive in the future, and it’s important to not abandon a visioning for the future of the campus just because times are hard. So we have to take and consider that, as well as the needs of this campus as we grow and continue to compete in the region,” said Garton.
The project is funded primarily out of a student fee that was approved by the student body in the spring of 2006. Additional donations have been made to the university in support of the facility.
Many students and alumni are eager to experience some of the unique features this building will bring, including a rock-climbing wall, a large aquatics area, and an innovative design.
Another notable feature of the building will be its Silver LEED certification. LEED is an internationally recognized certification system, which verifies that the building is constructed with the environment in mind.
University officials say this new addition to campus will improve the overall goal of wellness, and will attract even more students to Missouri State. Construction is expected to be completed in summer of next year, and the center is scheduled to open in fall of 2011.
For KSMU News, I’m Adam Murphy.