Developments on new student recreation center continue

The final product may still be a few years down the road, but a new recreational center is coming to Southern Oregon University along with a new track and turf field at Raider Stadium.

The architect firm OPSIS  has been hired to create a conceptual design plan to determine what would be best in terms of location, size and amenities for the recreation center. One question designers are looking at is if the recreation center should be attached to McNeal Pavilion or structured as a separate building entirely.

A forum was held on Nov. 16 with the architects involved to gather insight from students and staff on campus about the design.

“The student rec center will be constructed 90 percent of student ideas,” said Daniel Breaux, director of Recreation, Outdoors, and Athletics Program for the Associated Students of Southern Oregon University.

“The entire plan is to get as much student input as possible,” said Breaux.

Breaux encourages students to come to the forums next term to learn about how they can get involved with making decisions behind the student rec center and to participate in the tour of other campus recreation centers on Jan. 11. One of the reasons OPSIS specifically was hired to work on the conception design was because of their past experience with creating recreation centers on other campuses.

The project will cost approximately $20 million in total, which equates to $95 per term per student once construction begins. This fee would span for the life of the facility and would cover construction costs as well as future operating costs.

Those working on the project are confined to conceptual design and other planning for the time being until June of 2013 when the rec center will be up for approval by Oregon State Legislation. The time will also be spent attracting student attention to the project and gathering input in terms of what the facility will look like and what amenities there will be.

“The main goal is for it to be completely student-centered because it’s for the students,” said Ryan Green, associate director of Student Life.

“The students I have been around generally have had positive reactions to the rec center,” said Green.

Breaux expressed a sense of honor for being involved in something new on campus.

“I wish I wouldn’t be graduating by the time it’s complete,” said Breaux, although he explained that a system would be implemented to allow alumni to still use the center after its completion for as long as they paid for it.

The rec center is slated to be opened in the fall of 2015, but the timeline is still tentative. More forums for students will be held during winter term.

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