Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA, is preparing to unveil a new addition to its Lambright Intramural Sports Center on April 16. The $12 million expansion includes an indoor competitive pool, an outdoor recreational pool with a sundeck and cabana, a rock-climbing wall and a wellness center.

James King, vice president for student affairs at Louisiana Tech, told The Town Talk the idea behind the new expansion is to proactively promote a healthy lifestyle.

"Our focus is beyond intramural play and recreation. It's about health and well-being," King told the newspaper. "We all perform better when we eat properly, exercise regularly and take care of ourselves, which translates into increased student retention and recruitment."

The roughly $12 million expansion broke ground in May 2010 and is funded by student fees. The addition will be directly connected with the original facility and will create one large recreational center.

The facility also will include a space next to the pool for healthy food offerings which features pool-side service, new locker rooms equipped with quick-dry machines for bathing suits and a second floor with workout equipment.

King hopes to incorporate certain academic programs into the operations of the facility such as dietetics students working with patrons by suggesting healthy menu items that fit their fitness goals, the newspaper reported.

Although it won't be complete by April 16, the facility also will hold a wellness center with space for exam rooms, counseling and a classroom to create a one-stop location for health education and advisement.

"The wellness center will give us that forum for a more proactive model for health," King told the newspaper. "Recreation is a big part of university life, and students' habits are usually formed now. Our goal is to provide them with the right information to make informed choices now."