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Rec, Wellness Center to Benefit Campus Life

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The Recreation and Wellness Center will open its doors in time for the fall 2010 quarter.

  • February 4, 2009

There will be a new focal point for student life on the Hayward campus of California State University, East Bay when classes begin in fall 2010.

That's when Cal State East Bay's 56,000-square-foot Recreation and Wellness Center is scheduled to open near the intersection of South Loop and Harder roads, adjacent to Meiklejohn Hall and across the street from the Pioneer Heights Student Apartment complex.

Demolition of the Student Services Hub, currently on that site, is slated to start in March, with construction commencing during summer.

The center will house a multi-court gymnasium; elevated jogging track; fitness center; multipurpose fitness and activity rooms for aerobics, martial arts and dancing; locker rooms; juice bar; and administrative offices. The center will offer intramural sports such as basketball, volleyball and badminton, as well as fitness programs such as weight training, with free weights and weight machines on hand.

It will be located on the current site of the Hub, which has housed several University departments, including the Office of Student Life and Leadership, the Center for International Education and the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. Those offices will move to other campus locations by the time the hub, originally built in the 1960s to house CSUEB's first bookstore, is demolished by the end of March.

"It's going to be an exciting and lively place for students to see and be seen," said Bob Williams, executive director of the Associated Students Inc. "Students will come to the center to work out, hang out, relax and socialize in a building that is friendly to the environment."

The center will be a key component of CSUEB President Mo Qayoumi's plan for "creating a more vibrant university village."

"The Recreation and Wellness Center will contribute greatly to campus life, as it will encourage interaction between students of all backgrounds," Qayoumi said.

An important component of the Recreation and Wellness Center will be a partnership with the university's Student Health Center. That will provide for ongoing health and wellness education programs, body-mass testing and 1,500 square feet available for massage therapy and other health-related programs.

"We want to be a one-stop shop to give a holistic, well-rounded experience that allows students to see the connection between a healthy body and academics," said Jennifer Miranda, a CSUEB health educator with the Student Health Center. "Some students may have never had access to a personal trainer before or to someone to teach them about nutrition and how to deal with stress. This center will give them that opportunity."

An outdoor adventure center will allow students to get information about individual and group activities such as kayaking, hiking and camping throughout the Bay Area and around Northern California. Outdoor equipment for these activities also will be available through this department.

The CSUEB Recreation and Wellness Center will be notable not only for what it will house but how it is being built to protect the environment and preserve natural resources.

Its construction will "embrace Cal State East Bay's mission for creating a model sustainable campus," said Jim Zavagno, the university planner supervising the project. Among the sustainable building design features are green roof and cool roof systems, water efficient landscaping with reclaimed water for irrigation and optimized access for daylight and views to the exterior.

A specially designed wall that absorbs heat, combined with natural ventilation features, will help keep the building naturally cool during the day. The large proportion of glass that will allow light in during the day will help heat the facility at night.

Building of the $32 million facility is being financed through student fees established in consultation with the Associated Students Inc. and other student groups. The ASI began enlisting support for construction of a student recreation and wellness center in early 2007, and hired a design company to perform a feasibility study. A student survey that year drew more than 1,100 responses from the campus community, with more than 1,000 coming from students. Additional feedback about the project was provided at a series of campus forums.

Students began paying a fee of $25 per quarter in fall 2007 that will gradually increase to $65 per quarter by 2014. The fee will provide each student with member access to the center and its offerings. Alumni, faculty and staff will be offered access for a fee.

Three full-time staff members, including a campus recreation director, intramural sports coordinator, and fitness coordinator, will be hired to run the center. They will be supported by a part-time staff of 50 Cal State East Bay students who will serve as intramural monitors and assist in Recreation and Wellness Center operations.

"The center will be an outstanding investment for Cal State East Bay," Williams said. "It will be enjoyed by our students and will be a source of pride for anyone who is environmentally aware for many years."

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