STORRS, CT — Administrators and campus leaders at the University of Connecticut (UConn) are discussing how to pay for a new student recreation center that would alleviate overcrowding of its current rec facilities.

According to a report in the Hartford Courant, UConn's undergraduate enrollment soared from 11,365 in 1995 to 16,347 today. Lines form at cardio machines and weight rooms at recreation facilities headquartered in a renovated field house and gymnasium built in 1951 — though students also share other facilities. Also, waiting lists continue to grow for intramural teams, and the gym can become so crowded that the university runs out of lockers and towels, the newspaper reported.

At an April 24 meeting, campus leaders discussed the problems students face with the university facilities. Trustees, administrators, students and professors agreed that a proposed new recreation center is overdue, but the question centers on how to pay for the facility.

The newspaper reported that the $2.3 billion UConn 2000 construction program set aside $31 million for “intramural, recreational and intercollegiate facilities,” but the university has already spent that money on the $48 million Burton Family Football Complex and the Shenkman Training Center.

At the meeting, Patti Bostic, UConn's Executive Director of Recreational Services, outlined a wish list of amenities for a new center that ranged from basketball courts and cardiovascular facilities to an aquatic center with a kayak wave pool and water slides. UConn President Philip E. Austin said that while he supported the proposed facility, his priorities were on academics and hiring nearly 200 more faculty positions at the university, the newspaper reported.