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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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Construction on Campus Recreation Center Has Begun.

The area between the student union and the sports complex will be the new location for the Campus Recreation Center. (Kenneth Ho / The Statesman)

February’s frozen earth has proven to be no challenge for construction workers currently breaking ground for the new campus recreation center between the Sports Complex and Union.

“This project has been on our minds since 1999, when we visited the campuses of the University of New Hampshire and Northeastern University,” said Susan DiMonda, associate dean and director of Student Life, standing adjacent to a blown-up map of Stony Brook’s campus when it was fairly young and less developed. “This map was here when I moved into this office, and I like to keep it here because it reminds me of how far we’ve come as a university.”

DiMonda noted that the present construction has no relationship to the current budget deficit. “This project was approved before the budget cuts took place and the money has been coming in for this project for years,” she said of the $37.5 million dollar budget. “We have discussed this project with SUNY legislation since 2000.”

Although the new construction has obstructed the walkways from the stadium to John S. Toll Drive, DiMonda said it will benefit students in the long run. “The benefit outweighs any inconvenience,” she said.

According to DiMonda, when construction is complete, one pathway will remain between the stadium and sports complex. The new facility will form a triangular community juxtaposed between the Union and Sports Complex.

DiMonda also said the new facility will double the amount of student jobs available on campus, with eight students working at the facility per hour. The building will be open for students seven days a week from 6:00 a.m. until midnight.

Senior Dan Burns, biochemistry and philosophy double major who has worked for Campus Recreation as an intramural coordinator since his freshman year, said the new facility will enhance current programs. “When you look at other places, you get a hint of jealousy,” said Burns with a laugh. “It will give students the space to enjoy opportunities.”

At 85,000 sq. feet, the new recreation facility offers more space for recreation than what currently exists on campus. A far cry from the existing wellness center, the new facility will be almost six times the size of the wellness center, which sees approximately 800 people per day.

Whereas the wellness center has 3,000 sq. feet for weights and fitness, the new recreation center will have 3,562 sq. feet on the first floor and 13,437 sq. feet on the second floor.

Accroding to Marie Turchiano, associate director of Campus Recreation, being turned down due to capacity will be a thing of the past for students.

“Our goal is to make sure we always have enough space,” she said. “It will have a tremendous impact on student life and mentality.”

The access to larger space will offer more opportunities to students. “We will have a broader range of programming and will be able to think outside the box,” Turchiano said. “It is a building for students.”

The new facility will be equipped for wireless internet and will also have two lounges for students, a fitness studio, a multi-activity court, and a multi-purpose room among other amenities.

Although a specific date is unavailable at present time, officials say the unnamed Campus Recreation Center is projected to be completed by the end of 2012. “We can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Turchiano said excitedly. “Students will finally have a facility that is for them and them alone.”

Recreation, being turned down due to capacity will be a thing of the past for students.

“Our goal is to make sure we always have enough space,” she said. “It will have a tremendous impact on student life and mentality.”

The access to larger space will offer more opportunities to students. “We will have a broader range of programming and will be able to think outside the box,” Turchiano said. “It is a building for students.”

The new facility will be equipped for wireless internet and will also have two lounges for students, a fitness studio, a multi-activity court, and a multi-purpose room among other amenities.

Although a specific date is unavailable at present time, officials say the unnamed Campus Recreation Center is projected to be completed by the end of 2012. “We can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Turchiano said excitedly. “Students will finally have a facility that is for them and them alone.”

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