GAINESVILLE, FL -- The University of Florida broke ground on a 40,000-square-foot expansion to its Southwest Recreation Center on Aug. 25. The project is expected to earn Gold LEED certification.

The first floor of the expansion will include 10,000 square feet of cardio and strength space, 5,000 square feet of administrative offices and a 2,100-square-foot activity room. The second floor will have a one-ninth-mile track with three lanes, plus an additional 5,220 square feet of space for cardio equipment inside the track.

The cardio portion of the original 100,000-square-foot recreation center will be renovated into the Athletic & Personal Training Center, which will offer personal training, fitness assessment, massage therapy and athletic training services for students.

In the spring of 2008, the school’s Department of Recreational Sports received $16.3 million in capital improvement trust funds to expand the rec center. The project is being funded by a $2.44 per credit hour student fee that students pay to fund capital improvements.