The recently implemented student recreation center fee is revealing some benefit for students who will be attending Northern Kentucky University in Spring 2013.
Construction began Oct. 22 on the Intramural Field Complex with plans of completion by the conclusion of the Spring 2013 semester.
This is the second year of the fee, which was approved by the university, Board of Regents and Council on Postsecondary Education. The Student Government Association recommended the fee in Spring 2011.
Construction on the Albright Health Center has yet to be approved by the state.
Larry Blake, assistant vice president of facilities management, said NKU can only pay cash for the building because the state will not pay for recreation centers, but that may change in the coming years.
“The economy is going to drive what they do,” Blake said. “If the revenue stream for the state has gotten better at that time I’d say we have a good chance.”
Blake said SGA was shown three different budgets for the recreation center; one with a lower cost and one that had a higher cost of $65 million, which would require the demolition and rebuilding of the center.
Preliminary plans for the center indicate it will cost around $45 million, Blake said and $35 million of that is construction costs. Plans are to uplift the current structure and build out from it, which will more than double what the existing structure has to offer.
“The designer has been stopped until the project reopens either next year or 2014,” Blake said. “The concern is not to over obligate anything.”
“The state has to approve financing the bonds, as soon as they do that we will sell the bonds and move forward,” Blake said.
Plans for the CRC Renovation/Expansion project will be more like a comprehensive facility, Matt Hackett, director of campus recreation, said.
“It’s more like what you would see at Town and Country,” he said. According to Hackett, although the rec center fee was decided by SGA, the fee is similar to what you would pay to belong to somewhere like Town and Country.
Alyssa Woltermann, senior public relations major, said, “I actually use the gym regularly, so in a sense by this fee I’m paying to use the gym but for what I need I could go somewhere else and pay less on a monthly plan.”
Woltermann said she was unaware of the fee until recently. “I think they should up the rates for future students who will get to use the rec center but not for students who won’t see benefits from it in their time at NKU,” she said.
Woltermann also said she doesn’t think the decision to add a rec center fee was representative of the student body. “I’m responsible for paying my tuition, housing and other fees,” she said. “The added fee might be too much for students when it reaches its peak.”
Hackett said he hopes students who are at NKU on a four-year plan will get to utilize the changes of the recreation center.
“Our ultimate goal is to get 16,000 folks involved in some way, to do something in terms of developing a healthy lifestyle,” Hackett said.
Blake said when construction begins, the center will be closed for about a year.