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Stomberg Gym arena expanding for next year

The Stromberg Gym arena is set to expand the west part of the its building this fall and to be completed by fall of 2013.

Teri Bladen, director of Campus Recreation, said the gym right now is bursting at capacity, so it is time to create more space. The gym will be expanded by two floors, with office space on the first floor and workout space on the second floor.

“We want to provide more opportunities for the drop-in recreational user,” Bladen said.

Bladen said academics has priority in the arena, so when special events occur, student users can’t get in. Campus Recreation wanted to solve that problem.

“The goal is to create a home for Campus Recreation,” Bladen said. The expansion will have a Campus Recreation office suite, so that the different programs can be closer together.

Another track will be added above the lower track. Two new workout studios will be on the upper levels. A pedestrian bridge will stretch across the arena to connect the new second floor with the old second floor.

Chad Downs, an architect for WSU, said the new expansion will be 20,000-30,000 square feet. New locker rooms will be added to the new area. Bladen said students had a problem with locker rooms being on different floors.

Windows will be installed in the expansion to bring some light into the gym. The new studios will have windows as well, so that the arena doesn’t seem so closed in. The building will overlook the west part of the campus with a view of the Great Salt Lake.

Campus Recreation is part of the division of Student Affairs for the academics side of the Stromberg Arena. Jan Winniford, vice president of Student Affairs, said that academically, the expansion will benefit students because fitness helps students perform better in the classroom.

Winniford said there’s a lot of traffic when a student walks into the south entrance of the arena. She said the new track will be safer and more accessible, rather than students having to walk across the lower track to get to the weight machines.

The Stromberg Arena isn’t the only area of fitness that will be provided at WSU. The new building for Wildcat Village will have a fitness center, and the new WSU Davis campus building will have a fitness area also. There will be 3,200 feet of workout space in the new Davis campus building, also opening in fall of 2013.

“For those who can’t make it to the main campus, the new Davis building will be a beautiful benefit for them,” Bladen said.

Construction on the new expansion will start in October, and Bladen said the goal is to get it done for the fall semester of 2013.

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