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December 4, 2009

Purdue trustees advance recreational and grounds facilities

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University board of trustees on Friday (Dec. 4) approved steps to begin a $98 million renovation and expansion to the Recreational Sports Center and relocate the grounds maintenance facility.

The trustees approved a $5.3 million dollar contract for Indianapolis-based Turner Construction Co. of Indiana to serve as construction manager for the renovation of the Recreational Sports Center into the Student Fitness and Wellness Center.

Turner will work with Purdue, Moody Nolan Architects and construction subcontractors to develop a work plan and will be responsible for ensuring the construction schedule and budget are followed.

When the Recreational Sports Center was built in 1957 it was the first such building in the nation created solely to serve university student recreational needs. Newer facilities at other Big Ten universities are now larger and better equipped, said the center's director Howard Taylor.

The renovation will improve the cardiovascular fitness, free weight, indoor jogging/walking space and group exercise/multipurpose spaces. Racquetball courts and gymnasiums will be upgraded, and lockers, common space, wellness center, climbing wall, multipurpose pool and healthy snack areas will be added.

"The Student Fitness and Wellness Center has been conceived with user input to serve the overall health needs of Purdue students and staff," Taylor said. "When complete, it will make Purdue a more attractive and healthier place to pursue an education or career."

The project will be designed in accordance with LEED energy efficiency standards. Construction is scheduled to begin in April 2010 and be complete by August 2012. The project will be financed with student user fees and gifts.

Construction will close the center's main building from January 2011 until August 2012. The aquatics center will remain open and the north gym will be available for basketball, volleyball and other gymnasium activities. The transition strategy will temporarily move fitness activities and administration to spaces in six nearby residence halls. A transitional recreational facility that will house fitness and strength training, basketball, volleyball, badminton, an indoor running track, and restrooms and showers will be constructed immediately west of the aquatics center.

"While we are building for the longer term fitness needs of future generations of Boilermakers, we are working to maintain our best level of service to those who depend on us now," Taylor said. "The transition strategy should minimize disruption and inconvenience."

Trustees also approved a request to complete planning to relocate the grounds maintenance facility to make room for the future expansion of Herrick Labs, located near Discovery Park. As part of the project, the printing services facility has already been moved.

The trustees' action ends the contract with architect The Rosk Group Inc. Now C.E. Solutions Inc. of Carmel, Ind., will design the most cost-effective solution to complete the final $1.8 million portion of the $5.5 million project.

Writer: Jim Schenke, 765-494-6262, jschenke@purdue.edu

Sources: Howard Taylor, director, division of recreational sports, 765-494-3114, hhtaylor@purdue.edu

Robert McMains, vice president for physical facilities, 765-494-8000, remcmains@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

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