Libby Mueller, Senior Staff Writer

The Recreational Sports Center construction is set to be completed by Dec. 9, after a new group fitness room replaces the Hydrations snack bar, and a number of other renovations are made. (Miami University | The Miami Student)

Construction at the Recreational Sports Center (REC) has relegated equipment to the basketball court and sealed off the areas across from the racquetball courts and check-in counter.

According to the REC’s executive director, Doug Curry, the construction will result in an expansion of the pro shop, more cardio equipment and a new group fitness room.

Curry said the decision for the changes came from responses to student surveys sent out at the end of both the fall and spring semesters.

“One of our biggest survey requests is room for cardio equipment,” Curry said. “In the old racquetball court we’re actually adding a second floor, a room for more treadmills, cardio equipment.”

There will be approximately fifteen more pieces of cardio equipment as well as expanded stretching areas in the new space, according to Curry.

Curry said a room will be added for more group fitness classes as well.

“Where the Hydrations place used to be there will be another group fitness room,” Curry said. “We’re always looking for more space.”

Curry said the construction was not supposed to happen while classes were in session.

“Ideally this was supposed to start last spring, the week after spring break, so it would’ve been done the first part of August,” Curry said. “Due to construction delays and contracts, it just kept getting delayed.”

The projects are set to be completed by Dec. 9, according to Curry.

“The goal is to get it ready for students as soon as possible,” Curry said.

The project was financed through a capital reserve and replacement account, according to Curry.

Senior Director for Customer Services and Facility Management Ron Siliko said the REC puts aside a certain amount of money each year into this account.

“We basically allocate a set amount each year out of the budget,” Siliko said. “It’s for replacement of equipment and facilities. We do that every year. Any additional money we have as profit at the end of the year we put in that account.”

Siliko said revenue is gathered from any point of sale the REC may have, such as fees for group fitness classes, as well as student general fees.

Student fees will not increase as a result of the current construction project, according to Siliko.

The percentage of student general fees allocated to the REC center has actually fallen over the years, according to Siliko.

Last year, approximately 17 percent of the student general fee budget went to the REC, according to the 2011-2012 operating budget for fiscal year (FY) 2012. This year, less than 16 percent of the student general fee budget went to the REC, according to the 2012-2013 operating budget for FY 2013.

Senior Kate Schumacher said, however, the changes are not accurately addressing the needs of students who use the REC facility.

“I’d say they’re going the wrong way,” Schumacher said. “When you go to the cardio area, there’s always at least one machine open. The bigger issue is, when you go downstairs, the bars are right on top of each other. There’s really no room.”

Schumacher said in order to better meet student needs, the REC should extend the free weights area and add more bars. She also said an additional basketball court would be helpful.

“Another basketball court; that would be helpful just because it’s really hard for you to play badminton or volleyball. It’s crowded on the basketball courts,” Schumacher said. “When you walk into the REC, you get the feeling that it’s too small for all of the students.”

However, Schumacher said it was a good idea to add another group fitness room.

Junior Jeffrey Stagnaro also said the changes are not the best way to cater to student needs.

“The biggest need is more free weights,” Stagnaro said.