U breaks ground on rec center expansion

The $59 million addition will include two gyms and an outdoor adventure center.

Kathryn Raddatz

With a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday afternoon, the University of Minnesota Department of Recreational Sports announced the beginning of construction on a $59 million remodeling of the UniversityâÄôs Recreation Center.

The addition will be paid for through the Student Capital Enhancement Fee, which was introduced in fall 2008. With a cap of $75 per student each semester, the fee will be phased in over five years and is expected to fund the Recreation Center project in its entirety.

The 145,000-square-foot expansion will include two new gymnasiums, bigger locker rooms, a new jogging track, a climbing wall and an outdoor adventure center, as well as private rooms for massages. All in all, the new Recreation Center will be 545,000 square feet.

The Board of Regents approved the remodeling project in September.

Construction is to accommodate the increasing number of students living on or near campus since the Recreation Center was built in 1993.

“It used to be really bad in the winter months,” math senior Chris Maxedon said. “I had to plan my schedule around the really busy hours so I could get a machine.”

Psychology junior Megan Morinville disagreed, saying the current facility is sufficient.