CRCE to open next semester after over a year of renovation

Online Poster

Online Poster

By Nick Escobar

Students can expect to work out in a newly renovated recreation center when they return from winter break. Campus Recreation Center-East (CRCE), also known as WIMPE, will reopen at the start of the spring semester after more than a year of remodeling.

“I’m anxious for construction at IMPE (the Intramural Physical Education building) and WIMPE to be done,” said Erik Perez, sophomore in engineering.

Melissa Oglesby, sophomore in business and campus recreation employee, is anticipating CRCE’s opening. “I’m just looking forward to the new equipment,” Oglesby said.

The newly renovated center has three basketball courts, three racquetball courts and two multipurpose rooms. The recreation center will also house a 1/8-mile track, leisure pool and a 10,000-square foot conditioning room.

In addition to the new basketball and racquetball courts, the fitness center will also contain a multipurpose activity court, or MAC. The MAC will function as both an indoor soccer field and roller-hockey rink. The total space of the new building will exceed 100,000 square feet.

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“Between the two (buildings), we served about 800 to 900 thousand people a year,” said Gary Miller, associate director of operations for campus recreation. “When we finish, we will serve three times that, so about two million people.”

Perez, who uses IMPE mainly for weight training, said he hopes the new facilities will have a bigger free weights section because of the crowding he sometimes sees at the facility.

When CRCE opens, IMPE will close for renovations and reopen in 2007. However, the newly renovated east wing of IMPE will remain open and house the old workout equipment and weights.

Construction at CRCE was delayed during the renovation as last spring’s heavy rain and other events slowed completion.

“Because of a drought, China ordered all generators made in the U.S.,” Miller said. “Our generator got pushed back 60 days. Not that we couldn’t work on other things, but it pushed back our opening day.”

The main goal of both renovations is to attract non-users and student organizations to the facilities, Miller said.

“We want the facilities to be places where people can come and hang out,” he said.

Miller said he hopes to see more groups use the multipurpose rooms for a wide variety of activities.

“The multipurpose rooms can be used for anything – dance, comedy groups, martial arts groups,” Miller said. “Groups looking for space to do whatever activities they choose.”

Miller said students can visit the campus recreation Web site to view renderings and photos of the new facilities and check their progress.

The renovations will also lead to a reorganization of staff duties. Campus recreation will hire additional staff and train current workers to work in the new building.

“They’re making changes to our shifts and I’m anxious to meet the new people,” Oglesby said.