On behalf of University Recreation (UREC), I want to wish you a happy and healthy new year in 2014. As many are aware, UREC embarked upon a significant student-driven expansion and redesign program during 2013. We are now at a point when we begin to perform much of the preliminary work. During the fall, many of you kept up with our progress via the website and or by driving past the projects. We want to update you on what has been accomplished and what you can anticipate in 2014 and beyond. Our accomplishments to date and upcoming plans include:
- Relocating and improving the high-low adventure course to the wooded area just across from the Student Recreation Complex (SRC) entry and seeing significant growth in use of this program asset.
- Expanding the UREC fields at River Road to 8 multipurpose fields including 4 softball fields.
- Adding over 300 2-hour parking spaces for UREC users at the SRC.
- Relocating and replacing the 9 tennis courts to the north end of the SRC property.
- Expanding the current SRC by an additional 150,000 square feet to include:
- Increasing fitness space to 45,000 sq. ft.
- Bringing gym court space from 5 to 10 including 2 MAC courts for sports like indoor soccer and handball
- Adding a 35 ft. climbing wall and bouldering area
- Upgrading current indoor swimming pool
- Upgrading all locker rooms
- Adding an outdoor leisure pool
- Increasing running track from 1/8 mile to just shy of 1/2 mile in length and spanning 2 levels so that users have multiple views and incline and decline grades
- Adding more spaces for group fitness classes and functional training
- Adding 25 yard indoor turfed functional training ramp
The field project includes expanding our fields to enable all intramural and club sport programs to take place at this location and incorporate 8 multipurpose fields, including a wagon wheel softball complex. We expect play to begin in early summer 2014.
In addition to weather’s impact on the field project, the parking and tennis phase of the project encountered weather challenges. We currently anticipate completion of parking and tennis by mid spring 2014.
We expect to move to the bid process in late January 2014 on phase 3 of the project (actual SRC expansion). While there will be many steps between bidding and construction, we expect phase 3 work to begin in late spring of this year. To that end, the first actions we will complete include moving the current fitness equipment to gym courts 4 and 5, moving the SRC entrance to the south side of the building, and taking the climbing gym off line as the portable wall is put into use. Look for these changes to begin during spring break.
We are excited about the future and know the process will require you, our students and members, to adjust to a changing environment. While at times these adjustments might prove challenging, we know that just as mixing up our workouts, the end result for LSU and all of our stakeholders will be well worth the effort. We plan to send quarterly updates throughout the process and you can always check the website for more detailed information. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask and if you have suggestions on how we might best keep you informed, please let us know.
On behalf of our committed UREC team, we wish you a prosperous new year and appreciate your commitment to success.
Laurie Braden // Director, LSU University Recreation