Rec Center to open Fall 97

Kristy Judycki

Students anticipating the opening of the new student recreation center and remodeled areas of Western Hall should mark their calendars for the beginning of fall semester 1997.According to Jim Barnett, director of the Physical Plant, the racquetball courts, updated pool area and locker rooms in Western Hall should be open for use by the time students come back to school next fall. The jogging track, basketball and volleyball courts, and the fitness rooms in the rec center should be done soon after that. According to Richard Gale, the architect working on the construction areas, the rec center should be completed around the middle of October 1997.

“The project is on schedule and doing very well,” Gale said. “Our contract says we should be done on or by Oct. 15 and there is no reason for us to believe we won’t meet that schedule.”

The jogging track is already in place in the rec center and the racquetball court and floors will be installed very soon, according to Barnett. The weight and cardiovascular rooms and offices are also under construction.

The outside of the rec center should be completed on schedule as well. According to Barnett, the blue metallic roof and brick veneer should be in place on the building by April 1.

“By April 1, students will see some colors with the blue roof and the brick in place,” Barnett said. “There will also be some windows up and students will get an understanding of what they will be seeing on campus.”

The upcoming opening of the rec center has been met with mixed feelings from students.

Melissa Frieden, a sophomore at WIU, is looking forward to the opening. “I’m really looking forward to using the rec center,” Frieden said. “I think a lot of people will use it, and I think it will be a large attraction to WIU.”

Matt Anderson, a WIU junior, agrees with Frieden.

“I’m very excited about it,” Anderson said.

Holly Anderson, a WIU sophomore, on the other hand, thinks the money used to build the rec center should have been used for another purpose.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” she said. “There are so many other places to work out on this campus. This school needs an auditorium; performers shouldn’t have to use the gym in Western Hall for their shows.