Planning for new gym underway
Two options presented to the Board of Trustees for new student recreation center
Published: Monday, August 26, 2013
Updated: Monday, August 26, 2013 00:08
While it is not set in stone, Student Trustee Michael Daniels is confident a new gym will be coming to UConn in the next few years.
A new gym has been a topic of debate for years now, as many feel the current gym is not large enough to fit the ever-growing student body.
“I think people this year are determined to find a solution that really works,” said Daniels, a 7th-semester political science and economics major.
Two plans have been presented to the Board of Trustees, one for a 203,000 square foot gym and one for a smaller 160,000 square foot gym. Although the smaller gym could be built for less money, Daniels expressed concern that it would be too small for future classes, especially considering the enrollment expansion that is taking place over the coming years.
The new gym is estimated to cost around $100 million. A 30-year bond backed by a student fee will fund the project. If approved the student fee would range from $400 to $500 according to statements released by the university. The student fee would be approved before the start of the project, but would not go into effect until the new gym opened, which would be 2016 at the earliest. Therefore, only students with access to the new gym would be paying for the cost of the gym.
“For the most part, students who are here now will not use it,” said Daniels.
Funding options other than a student fee do not have much potential, according to Daniels. No money from the state would be used for the project, as that money is being put towards new housing and classroom facilities. UConn Foundation is looking into using donations, however donations would only be used if they do not detract from donations for other programs, such as need-based scholarships and varsity athletics.
“Although personally, I think I want to do some investigating to find ways to take the cost off of students,” said Daniels.
If approved the student fee would more than likely remain even after the bond is paid off to cover the cost of running and maintaining the larger facility, although it will most likely be lowered over time.
The new gym would be built mainly over X Lot and L Lot. The lost parking would be made up in a new garage paid for by Next Generation Connecticut funds.