Officials at the University of Alabama said construction on a new 114,000-square-foot student recreation center will begin within a month, according to the Tuscaloosa (AL) News.
The new center, scheduled to be completed by 2014 on the north side of campus, will be in addition to the nearly 200,000-square-foot existing rec center. The new center will have a new climbing wall and a built-in floor hockey rink and will enhance some of the popular programs already at the current center, George Brown, executive director of University Recreation, told the newspaper.
“We’re bringing health and well-being through fitness to different parts of campus,” Brown said. “I think it’s a really seminal moment in terms of the university addressing the needs of the students, particularly those living on the north end of campus."
Of the 114,000 square feet of space in the new center, about 77,000 will be dedicated to recreation, Brown said.
The current rec center was built in 1982, with additions in 1992 and 2004, Brown told the newspaper. Overcrowding at the current center was one of the main reasons for the building of the new center. Student population growth was another factor. Since 2004, the number of students at the University of Alabama has grown from 22,000 to 33,600, with growth expected to continue to 35,000, Brown said.