BAKERSFIELD, CA — California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) students have approved a referendum that will help fund a new $24 million recreation center and support the university's move towards becoming an NCAA Division I athletics school.

“It's wonderful that the students share the vision to see the university grow,” said CSUB President Horace Mitchell.

There were 1,759 votes cast on the referendum; 893 students voted in favor of the fee increase, while 864 were opposed. Two ballots were invalidated.

Here's the breakdown of student fee increases: Currently full time undergraduate students pay $51 a quarter for student union and student body fees. For the next academic year students will pay $168. The fee will increase in increments until the 2008-09 school year when the amount will cap at $224.

The 60,000-square-foot center will include a suspended track, fitness area with equipment and possibly a rock-climbing wall. The fees will also provide extra support for CSUB clubs and funding for students of CSUB's Antelope Valley campus to undertake major programs and student activity projects.