CSUB breaks ground on new rec center

June 5, 2007
Kathy Miller, 661/654-2456, kmiller26@csub.edu or
Michele Newel, 661/654-2720, mnewell1@csub.edu

California State University, Bakersfield students and university officials broke ground today for the new $17.1 million student recreation center. The 75,130 square-foot, two-story building is expected to open in fall quarter 2008.

Today's ceremony came two years after students voted to increase their activity fees to fund construction of the recreation center. In May 2005 CSUB students approved raising their activity fees to $224 per quarter, a portion of which will be used to pay for the recreation center.

S.C. Anderson, Inc., of Bakersfield is the contractor for the project; Sink Combs Dethlefs, a Denver architectural firm specializing in sports facilities and fitness centers, designed the center. The firm has designed a number of university centers, including facilities at the University of Colorado, Ohio State University, Fresno State University, University of New Mexico, and Colorado State University.

"The new recreation center will change the face of CSU Bakersfield," said Elena Avina, CSUB's incoming Associated Students Inc., president. "It takes the university to another level. It took great vision on the part of the students to pass the referendum that will fund it. I'm thrilled to see the project get under way."

CSUB President Horace Mitchell shared Avina's enthusiasm. "It's wonderful that the students share the vision to see the university grow," Mitchell said. "It's great they're a part of this new endeavor for CSUB."

The recreation center will be just south of the Student Union, where old asphalt-topped outdoor basketball courts are currently situated. The asphalt courts will be removed to make way for the new center.

The center's lower level will feature three regulation-sized basketball courts, a specialized fitness area with a variety of exercise equipment, a yoga and martial-arts training area, an aerobics exercise area, and a rock-climbing wall.

The upper level will have a weight-training area, exercise and fitness area, and a suspended jogging track.

CSUB students will be able to use the center free of charge; faculty and staff will be able to use it for a nominal fee. CSUB students who graduate before the center is completed will be allowed to use the center free for the number of quarters they paid the increased student fees (the increased fees went into effect fall quarter 2005).

About a hundred students, faculty, staff and invited community members attended today's ceremonial groundbreaking. Actual construction will begin following the university's commencement exercises, which occur June 8-9.