ASUU approves rec center, $60 student fee increase

The U is one step closer to getting a new recreation center.

The Student Senate and General Assembly finalized a joint resolution Tuesday supporting construction of the $31 million facility, which comes with a $60 per semester increase in student fees for support and maintenance. Students won’t have to begin paying the fee until the center is available for use, according to Patrick Barnes, chief of staff for the Associated Students of the University of Utah.

“Freshmen this year might see the doors open,” he said.

In 2004, the U contracted Rocky Mountain Data, an independent surveying company, to poll students about the proposed recreation center. The results showed that 67 percent of students supported the $60 fee to aid in center construction and upkeep.

The center would take the place of three separate buildings that campus recreation uses.

A study by Hastings and Chiveta, a national architectural firm specializing in campus recreation buildings, revealed that current facilities fail to adequately meet the needs of students. They added that a facility three times the square footage of the Field House is needed to serve a student population the size of the U.

The University administration supports the concept of the center and U President Michael Young has pledged to help secure major donations that would ease the financial burden on students.

“I believe there will be a broad range of donors that would like to put their name on a building like the recreation center,” Barnes said.

Because of survey results showing students support the facility, both the People Incorporated and Students First parties supported the recreation center in a Wednesday debate.

The None of the Above Party, however, said Wednesday it was not in favor of the center “because simply, it would raise student fees.”

The new center will have a 14,000-square-foot weight and fitness room, a rock climbing wall, juice bar and social lounge, according to ASUU.

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