Students discuss Swenson expansion

Weber State University’s Campus Recreation held a presentation in the Wildcat Village Building 1 to seek out the opinions of students who upcoming projects are likely to affect.

A strategic location and the aroma of free pizza lured many students in to view the presentation and add their input for the various facilities expansions happening across the WSU spectrum. Teri Balden, the Director of Campus Recreation talked about three upcoming projects that are intended to increase the options and availability of recreation and exercise on campus.

The presentation was attended by around 24 students, many of whom stopped by on their way to their dorms. With her target audience in attendance, Balden handed out information sheets for students to fill out, requesting what they’d want for three new recreational facilities to be introduced to WSU.

Assistant Director of Residence Life Allison Hayes was in attendance at the event and talked about how important it is for the university to engage students regarding the decisions it makes about the makeup of the campus.

“I think students need to take a more active role in understanding what’s going to be happening around them,” Hayes said. “And understanding how they can best take an active role in their educational experience because even the gym is part of their educational experience.”

The plans currently in place aim to create three new gym and recreational spaces on campus. First is a cardio and strength training room that will be incorporated in the second Wildcat Village building to be completed this coming Fall. The second is a small gym and recreational center at the new Davis Campus building to be completed in Fall 2013. And finally, there is a major expansion taking place to add on space to the Swenson Gym to provide more room for exercise equipment, group activities and space for club sports and other organizations to use.

While initial plans have been made to develop the three new facilities, no final design or requirements for each of the facilities will be developed until students have their say. This was the point of the presentation Balden gave.

“This is just a rendering,” Balden said. “It’s not the done deal and we don’t know really what we’re going to get yet, but we’re really excited about the opportunity.”

There are some concerns with the new plans, however, including the issue that the new expansion to the gym will take up a total of 12 parking spaces from the parking lot that is currently in front of the building. Also, while facilities in the gym, housing and in the new Davis campus building are being updated or expanded, one concern that students had was the amount of green space that would be available on campus.

“If anything, I’m a lacrosse player here, and so it would just be if we have enough practice space and what not,” Andrea Goeller, a freshman at WSU, said.

Upon being presented with some of these concerns, Balden maintained that this was entirely the reason the presentation was done and that students opinions were asked for. The ideas and comments students made on their sheets will be put into consideration going forward.