Student Recreation Center locker rooms to get remodel

In+this+Nov.+11%2C+2013%2C+file+photo%2C+students+exercise+at+the+Recreation+Center+Friday+night.

In this Nov. 11, 2013, file photo, students exercise at the Recreation Center Friday night.

Ashley Dwy, News Editor

The Recreation and Wellness Center locker rooms are undergoing a remodel to enhance privacy and inclusivity, with the project expected to be finished by the fall 2020 semester.

The budget for the remodel is $1.1 million, and funding is from the auxiliary reserve fund, Dean of Students Kelly Wesener-Michael said.

Auxiliaries are services that create revenue and pay for their own expenses, Wesener-Michael said.

She said the budget covers the costs of bringing in the architects and designers and construction.

There will be enhanced privacy in the locker rooms as well as the installation of a gender-neutral locker room, she said.

“We got the approval from the Board [of Trustees] to move ahead, so now we’re in the process of selecting the architect, and then we’ll work with the architect in actually doing the design,” Chris Dawe, director of recreation and wellness, said.

Some students using the current locker room said privacy is the biggest issue, Wesener-Michael said.

“My junior year I taught a class here, and then I showered and got ready here,” senior major Aspen Wheeler said. “Privacy was definitely an issue, so it would be nice to see a little more of that.”

The remodel plans to address that, Dawes said.

The physical infrastructure, including plumbing and electrics, are all in need of upgrading, Wesener-Michael said. The Recreation and Wellness Center aims to accommodate all members of the community and all different kinds of students with the inclusion of a gender-neutral locker room.

“I think of it as inclusion from a much broader perspective,” Dawe said. “There’s lots of people — whether it be disability, people wanting more privacy, a religious connection of not wanting to change or shower in front of others — we want to include when we’re thinking about the design.”

Because of the remodel, there is the potential for more revenue for the university because it will draw in more new students, employees and even community members who buy memberships.

“We have the type of facility that can actually accommodate more students, more employees as well, and if we have more of the community here, there’s those connections that can happen and then there’s the potential for more revenue,” Dawe said. “So, that return on that investment is possible, too.”