PITTSBURG, KS -- The new $16 million Pittsburg (KS) State University Student Recreation Center and Kansas National Guard Armory, which opened on Aug. 4, is experiencing increased traffic from students and faculty members since classes began on Monday.

Vince Daino, the center’s director, told The Joplin (MO) Globe that he expects between 3,500 and 4,000 students a week to visit the center.

“The comment I’m getting is, ‘Wow, I didn’t know it was going to be like this,’” Daino told the newspaper. Daino spent 10 years as assistant director for club sports and summer camps at Purdue University before coming to Pittsburg State.

The 97,000-square-foot center has equipment, sports courts and fitness rooms on one end of the building, and classrooms, faculty offices and training areas for the National Guard throughout the rest of the space, according to the Pittsburg Morning Sun.

During the summer, Mt. Carmel Regional Medical Center donated two automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) for use at the new center. Daino had planned to purchase AEDs before he was told of the donation, the Morning Sun reported.

Students can use the facility free of charge. Faculty and staff members must purchase a membership of $100 per year.

The facility was funded by the university, the city of Pittsburg and the state of Kansas. A formal dedication of the student rec center will be held Sept. 27.