Sun. Jan 23rd, 2022

If all goes according to plan, West Chester University students will be exercising in high style by August 2009, as plans and designs were on display last Wednesday in Sykes Student Union for the University’s proposed Recreation Center. Moody Nolan Inc. was on hand to show its proposed designs to students. The company has undertaken similar projects at other colleges, including the University of Miami, Butler, and Ohio State University. The new center will feature a track, rock-climb, two gymnasiums, a racquetball court and a multi-purpose gym.

Greg Polakoski, ’08, a frequenter of the current gym, made his thoughts on the old gym apparent.

“The facility we have now is old and out-dated. The new Rec Center will be an amazing addition for West Chester University,” he said.

The $21.2 million dollar project first has to be approved by West Chester’s borough council. Even before that, sessions like last Wednesday’s at Sykes Student Union are more important at this juncture, as feedback on the proposed building plans is just as important as any borough council decision, alluded Curtis J. Moody, President and CEO of Moody Nolan Inc.

For some students, including Christopher Bantell, a Sophomore and patron of the current gym, said the $133 a semester charge to maintain the new Rec Center is well worth it.

“It isn’t too bad. There are some gyms where you pay $75 for three months. Like they say, you get what you pay for.” Bantell added, “I think (the Rec Center) is a great idea. You see some of the facilities at East Stroudsburg and Slippery Rock and those gym’s are huge and have up-to-date equipment. I think the Sykes gym is good, but its time for a change.”

Bantell, also a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, added how he felt the addition of two new gyms may affect intramural sports at West Chester.

“I think it will affect Greek and Intramural sports in a positive way. More gym’s means more spots to play, and more games.”

The building will be located near Lawrence Dining Hall, at the corner of Nields and New Sts. which draws some concerns from students who travel around an already crowded campus. Tim Mellor, a sophomore, feels north campus is already too crowded.

“I think an ideal situation would be to construct the facility on south campus. Dechant said, “There’s barely enough room to park on North Campus, and the new Rec Center is going to have to be a good size for it to be fully effective. I think building it anywhere on north campus, especially near Lawrence, is going to be a challenged.”

Those concerns are echoed by Jay Dechant, ’07, who feels other concerns need to be addressed before a new Rec Center is built.

“The parking situation is still a hassle. I wouldn’t mind seeing another parking garage built to alleviate some of the parking concerns. Also, look at Main Hall? There are some classroom issues that should be addressed first.”

As the debate amongst West Chester students continues, so do the plans for the new Rec Center.

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