Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

   On Oct. 13, West Chester University student leaders met with the recreation center committee to discuss the progress and make decisions on the design of the new recreation center that will open Aug. 2012. Representatives from the Black Student Union, LGBTQA, Sykes Union Advisory Board, RHA, and Intramural sports, to name a few, attended the meeting.

  Students may be familiar with the building site on the corner of New Street and Sharpless. Progress in the building of the center is coming along very quickly and plans to start enclosing the building for interior work are coming at the right time for colder weather.

  Student leaders will be shown examples for the climbing wall and news of a bouldering section being added to the climbing wall were discussed at the meeting.

  “The bouldering section will be a big aesthetic statement of the climbing wall,” Diane DeVestern, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs, said. DeVestern encourages students to take the virtual tour on the center’s website to get a better feel for what the building is going to look like once it is completed.

  Fitness equipment was also discussed at the meeting. The fitness center is going to be one of the most used and popular sections of the center. There will be two spaces for fitness which will include the most updated equipment in fitness for all students to use. Weights for shapes and sizes will be included in with the new fitness equipment. Students will also have a whole room dedicated to spinning cycles.

  One of the main questions of the meeting was if students wanted more gathering areas. So far, the center will include a hydration station, where students can gather and various lounges for socializing. Discussion of more “cubby” spots for tiny gatherings was brought into place and a waiting area for students who might be waiting for certain exercise equipment to be available also discussed. Although recreation and fitness is the center’s main purpose for students, it is also going to be a very popular spot for students to socialize with friends.

   “People saw the recreation center as another social gathering, which was present in the feasibility study,” DeVestern said. DeVestern also noted that the whole building will be wireless. There was also a decision to put doors on the 18 cubbies that will be present near the fitness area, but it will be up to students to bring their own locks because the cubbies might not be in the direct eye range of students working out.

  The signing ceremony was also a success with 100-125 students, faculty, and staff showing up to sign their name on small tiles that will be made into a collage in the recreation center. Professor of Art and Chair of the Department of Art, John Baker, will help out with the piece that will include the signed tiles.  DeVestern also hoped to include Alumni that helped in the process of the recreation center. The center has been in the works since 1998.

  Public relations is another aspect in making the center more popular. DeVestern wants to make sure that the different organizations on campus and students, faculty, and staff are informed of the process of the center.    

  DeVestern was also pleased that the center has been featured not only throughout the different organizations but in The Daily Local, Chester County’s local newspaper. DeVestern really encourages students to keep checking the Recreation center’s website.

  Updates on the gender-neutral bathrooms were also discussed at the meeting. There will be separate rooms with individual changing rooms and shower stalls. There will also be 70 lockers in each of the locker rooms.

  To learn more about the center, visit the site at

    Angela Thomas is a fifth year student majoring in English. She can be reached at

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