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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Campus Recreation Center In The Works

    Beginning in the upcoming fall semester, confusion and chaos are going to be a reoccurring theme in the Pritchard Gym. The cause of such emotions is the $20 million in renovations scheduled to Stony Brook Arena, which will be starting after Pritchard Gym is done being renovated this summer.

    Stony Brook Arena houses Stony Brook’s Div. 1 teams such as the men’s and women’s basketball teams, and the women’s volley ball team. The arena is also used by the tennis and track teams as a training facility. Due to the renovations these teams will have to move to the Pritchard Gym, which is where other teams such as the softball, baseball and men’s and women’s lacrosse teams practice when there is poor weather outside. Besides the athletic teams, the rest of the general student body and faculty use Pritchard Gym for intramural sports and recreation.

    According to David Hairston, who is the Coordinator of Intramurals and Sports Clubs, there will be virtually no recreation hours during the basketball season next year. Therefore, the only outlets on campus for students to play sports such as basketball, badminton and indoor soccer is the outdoor courts behind the arena and the newly built courts near H-Quad.

    “This is unfair,” said Umer Syed, a sophomore Biology student. “Its cold most of the year while and when we can’t play outside, we have nowhere to go.”

    “The space we have now isn’t enough as it is,” added Hazem Kiswani, who is also a sophomore Business student. “We sometimes have to wait 30 minutes to play a single game on the indoor courts, and if we lose we have to wait just as long again.” Kiswani later cited that during the five versus five intramural basketball season, there were no open recreation hours available and the only way he could play basketball indoors was if he was on an intramural team.

    Intramural sports will also be affected greatly affected by the renovations to the arena. In the 2006-2007 school year, 4,376 students and faculty participated in intramural sports, many of which took place in Pritchard Gym. “We’re going to have to be really flexible next year,” said Hairston in regards to the Intramural sports. “However these renovations are a necessary evil,” continued Hairston, “Athletics generates a lot of revenue, and these renovations will help attract athletes in the future.”

    According to Dr. Susan DiMonda, who is the Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Life, the university does a have a proposed plan in place to extend the hours in which the gym is opened until 2 a.m., however the plan calls for $15,000 to fund such an operation. The plan is currently awaiting approval.

    The university is also going to be announcing its plan to build a campus recreation center in the near future. The proposed building, which will be built near the arena and the Stony Brook Union, will have a three-court gymnasium, running track, weights and fitness rooms, and storage for some of the 34 clubs that are on campus. According to Dr. DiMonda, the building will cost nearly $39 million. The school received a grant by the state to fund all of the construction costs. Stony Brook is currently working with Sasaki Associates, Inc., who has been chosen by the university as the principal architectural firm, and according to Dr. DiMonda, the project could break ground next fall. However Dr. DiMonda doesn’t anticipate the construction to be completed for several years, and the center will certainly not be a solution to the issues the school faces next year.

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