Campus recreation center to expand

For two years the Florida A&M Campus Recreation Center has been trying to expand its services. Now with a new grant and contractors, there will be some major changes brought to the university through the expansion of the Recreation Center.

Robert Carroll Jr., director of the campus recreation center said the expansion of the recreation center has been planned for nearly two years.

“We have had the design for two years now and we were just waiting to be approved,” Carroll said. “The plan was recently approve in this fall.”

The university opened the recreation center in 2005 after closing the old gym in the student union. The plans for the expansion were approved in the fall.

“The university decided that the old rec center in the student union was too small, because of the growing number of students they had to make a bigger rec center to accommodate the university,” Carroll said.

The expansion to the recreation center will be called Phase II of the Recreation center. This will offer more of a variety of different sports including an indoor basketball court, indoor tennis, and also a baseball field to continue the intramural sports.

“Phase II is the indoor part which will offer more indoor sports and we will be expanding the lobbies and locker rooms,” Carroll said.

Carroll said, the recreation center will offer more exercise classes and the lobby will also expanded adding a fitness bar and mini restaurants where the students can come and eat healthy.  

Facilities planning and the Student Government Association voted to go ahead with the expansion of the recreation center. The money to make these changes to the recreation center came out the student fees for tuition.

Fred D’antonio, project manager over the recreation expansion said construction would be beginning by the end of this year.

“We will begin construction on the recreation center by the end of this year,” D’antonio said. “We are just looking for a company to be a good bid.”

According to Carroll, the estimated cost of the recreation center is $ 2.85 million.

“The funds to expand the gym came from your tuition and from the Capital Improvement Trust Fund,” Carroll said.

Many students say they are excited about the new changes that will take place at the recreation center
Vanessa Ostalav, a third-year biology student from Tampa said she is very excited to see what is in store with recreation center.

“I’m excited about the new change, I hope that it will draw more students in and it will help FAMU be a healthier campus,” Ostalav said.

Shaniqua Gary, a graduate student said the she feels the new expansion will give students more options.

“I’m glad to see FAMU expanding the gym this will give us students a chance to be more engaged with the campus,” Gary said. “I can’t wait for the rock climbing wall; it will introduce something new to many of students like me.”

The recreation center is set to be finish with phase II by fall 2010.