The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) opened its student recreation center this week, following a two-year, $32 million expansion project.

Improvements to the center include a new multi-story strength and cardio area, a 12,000-square-foot hardwood game court and a 39-foot climbing wall.

The new center was built onto the university's existing swimming and fitness complex. That facility, which opened in 1996, currently is undergoing renovations. It will continue to house the university's recreational aquatics programming when it re-opens in spring 2012.

Funding for the project was raised through a fee increase approved by the student body in 2006. Access to the facility is covered by student activity fees. Faculty, staff and family members can join for an annual fee that ranges from $230 for an individual to $550.