Work began on construction of the Recreation and Wellness Center for the Hayward Campus of Cal State East Bay as students, administrators, faculty and staff took part in the ceremonial groundbreaking for the building May 21 across the street from the Pioneer Heights Student Apartment complex.
With University President Mo Qayoumi, Vice President Sonjia Redmond, and Associated Students President Udeepto Maheshwari each gripping gold ceremonial shovels, the soil was turned. Nearly 100 other members of the student body, faculty, and staff then took their turns, as souvenir shovels and buckets were handed out.
“When completed, this center will help life on campus and be a hub of activity essential for the future of the university,” Qayoumi said. “Its design will be environmentally friendly.”
“This facility will be student intuitive and be about health and wellness, helped by our partnership with the Student Health Center,” said Maheshwari. “It will be a big part of building a vibrant university village on this campus.”
The 56,000-square-foot Recreation and Wellness 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. Williams said the center will provide 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’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.”
An outdoor adventure center will allow students to get information on 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. Among the sustainable building design features are a 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 in 2007. The ASI began enlisting support for the 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 for the project was provided at a series of campus forums.
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 source of pride for anyone who is environmentally-aware for many years.”