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West campus students to celebrate recreation center construction

construction site
March 22, 2012

The public is invited to join the students of Arizona State University’s West campus as they celebrate the impending addition of a student recreation center. A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for 1:00 p.m., April 24, at the construction site west of Fletcher Library at 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix.

Construction is well under way on the facility, scheduled to open in January 2013. It is one of three major construction projects in progress at the West campus. A new residence hall and dining facility will open in time for the start of the fall 2012 semester in August.

“The new student recreation center at the West campus is moving forward on schedule and on budget. Construction has become a vertical landmark on campus with the recreation center leading the way,” said Bill Johns, ASU project manager. “The sports fields associated with the project also have become an anxiously awaited new feature that will be available for daytime use starting in August 2012.”

The project will add two competition play fields with softball and rugby field overlays.

The building itself will feature amenities such as weight and fitness equipment, fitness studios, an outdoor pool and fields, gymnasium, racquetball courts, and wellness service space including a demonstration kitchen for healthy food preparation.

Student Justine Harper participates in a committee to promote wellness in the recreation centers on all four ASU campuses; she also represents the West campus on the Well Devil Council. “I am very excited about the wellness area in the new rec center.  We will have a substantial space on the first level dedicated to wellness in all its many aspects,” she said.

Two multipurpose studios in the center will be used for group fitness classes and student club activities. A two-court gymnasium will accommodate basketball, volleyball and badminton, and two racquetball courts also are included. Sand volleyball and outdoor basketball courts will be available on the south side of the new facility, and the existing field north of the project site will be renovated for use as a student quad and recreational play field.

The current West campus recreation facility occupies a relatively small space in the basement of the University Center Building. “The more prominent location on campus of the new recreation center will give us more influence in students’ lives and hopefully help more people maintain healthy lifestyles,” Harper said.

“I am particularly excited about the new student recreation center because it represents all that I had hoped for, for our department,” said ASU student Drake Qualls, who is a student employee at the current recreation facility. “We have a tremendous team here at Campus Recreation and we have so much potential. I feel that with this new facility, the sky is the limit for programming and for establishing the best recreation facility in the country.”

Student Taylor Samora-Dietz, who also works at the recreation center, is looking forward to the ability to conduct more efficient workouts in the expanded, modern space of the new facility. “The new gym will allow students to diversify their workouts and add more to their fitness arsenal,” he said. “There will be a much more diverse selection of equipment and services offered at the new recreation center.”

“Students have been involved from the very beginning of the planning process for the facility, from the arrangement of physical space to the conception of programming priorities,” said Mistalene Calleroz White, dean of students. “This process, from creation to completion, is being driven by students. The recreation center, along with the two other new buildings, will truly transform the experience at the West campus. Students, current and prospective, are extremely excited about what the future holds.”

Added Qualls, “The campus won’t be expanding so much as exploding! We will have more students, staff and things to do. I imagine that this campus will become a more active place to hang out at night and that programming will be more engaging.”

The 365-bed residence hall now under construction will feature 109 one- and two-bedroom suite-style units for two or four residents. Amenities include a social lounge, gaming lounge, study rooms, a community kitchen, laundry facilities, a business center and an interior landscaped courtyard.

Among the amenities in the new dining facility will be open and private dining areas, late-night dining options, market-style food court areas and retail space. The Jamba Juice restaurant and Devils’ Den student space currently located in the University Center Building will become part of the new dining facility. Current dining options like Starbucks and Café West will continue to offer service to the campus community.

No state dollars or tuition revenues are being used to fund the projects. The student recreation center is funded by a student government-endorsed facility fee. The housing and dining projects are being built by American Campus Communities, with ARAMARK, the dining service provider, contributing to the dining project.

Students on the West campus can pursue degrees offered by ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, and W. P. Carey School of Business. Barrett, the Honors College also maintains an active presence on the campus, with students in all majors eligible to participate in Barrett programming.

For more information about the new West campus buildings or the April 24 groundbreaking event for the student recreation center, call the Dean of Students Office at (602) 543-8147.