Field complex construction, CPA renovations complete
Published: Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 11:09
The $7 million Campus Recreation Field Complex and Center for Physical Activity expansion project is near completion after over a year of construction.
Construction began last spring on the brand new Field Complex and the 20,000-square-foot expansion to the CPA began last summer.
Since the approval of the CPA several years ago, East Tennessee State University students have been paying a debt service fee each semester. The money collected from that fee paid for the $7 million Campus Recreation department’s project.
A $6 per student per semester fee increase was approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents and unanimously supported by the SGA last year. The fee increase was requested by the Campus Recreation department to bring in money for the operating budget, which covers things like the cost of additional staffing and overhead expenses.
“The department of Campus Recreation initiated the discussions about the need for additional space to accommodate our expanding programs and to address the issue of overcrowding in the CPA during peak hours,” said Lynn Nester, director of Campus Recreation.
“Due to high usage and popularity of the CPA and Campus Recreation programs, coupled with the growth in enrollment over the last 10 years, it was decided that additional recreation and workout space was needed.”
Keith Johnson, a professor and chair in Engineering Tech and Surveying Digital Media at ETSU, works out at the CPA facilities five days a week and has been doing so since it first opened.
Johnson believes that the renovations and expansion of the CPA has improved the usefulness of the CPA and has also resolved a concern that he has had for a long time.
“The biggest thing has been the addition of a changing room that is adjacent to the pool and the weight room,” Johnson said. “For a long time, on Friday nights and swim nights, faculty members bring their children and sometimes faculty will bring their daughters through the men’s locker room to get them to the pool and the showers, which I didn’t feel was very appropriate. I was glad to see the renovations have included an area that can accommodate young children.”
“There are peak times, from four to eight or nine o’clock when it’s crowded so the expansion was very worthwhile,” he said. “I have been very impressed with the management of the CPA and the staff there are extremely friendly, which is a major part of the whole experience of working out.”
Renovations to the CPA included a 3,590-square-foot expansion to the weight and cardio room, new strength and cardio machines, the addition of an enclosed multi-use court, additional water fountains on the main level; two studio spaces for yoga, martial arts and multipurpose use; additional restrooms and water fountains on the second level, two exterior staircases for emergency exit, a change room for family and private use, a game room with a Wii and foosball table, an indoor cycling studio, and an open area pavilion.
The Campus Recreation department believes that programs held inside the CPA will be able to expand with the additional facilities, especially intramural sports, group fitness classes and informal recreation.
During most of the renovations and expansion of the CPA, the building has remained open. It only had to be closed twice, in May and in August, for construction and maintenance.
“We planned it so that it would not have to be closed for construction purposes during the academic school year,” Nester said.
Shelby Stamets, the fitness and wellness graduate assistant at the CPA, said that she practically lives there and believes that the expansion was necessary because of the demand and high volume of traffic from ETSU students, faculty and staff.
“The expansion of space has been great,” she said. “We have new equipment, studios and a fourth court that will be convenient once school starts, when it gets really crowded in there. Luckily, this project was completed primarily during the summer months, which did not get too much in the way of patrons utilizing the facility.”
Stamets added that she felt the construction of the new Campus Recreation Field Complex was necessary due to the high demand for intramural softball.
“We didn’t have space to play before, and now we have a quality, artificial turf field that will be heavily utilized by the students during games,” Stamets said.
“The overall expansion has been an awesome addition to the ETSU campus because it contributes to student life and increases the likelihood that ETSU community members will engage in a healthier and active life style. Overall, the CPA staff is very pleased with the expansion, and has received a lot of positive feedback from patrons.”
The second part of the $7 million project was the construction of a brand new Field Complex, which is located at 1510 Seminole Drive. It houses a multi-sport synthetic turf field that includes a softball field and a flag football field overlaid in the outfield. It also includes a multisport natural Bermuda grass field, which includes a softball field with a multi-use field overlaid. The fields are lighted and the complex has parking and handicap access and a field house.
The Campus Recreation department intends the field complex to be used for intramural games, sport club practices and competitions, as well as open recreation play.