SF State is on its way to becoming one of the many California State Universities with a full-service recreation center by 2018.
Students have financed the Recreation Wellness Center’s planning, design and future construction since Fall 2012 through a $90 fee included in their tuition each semester.
Once the complex opens, this fee will increase to $160 per semester to provide funds for cleaning, staffing and operating the facility. Students will therefore be granted unlimited free access to the Recreation Wellness Center, though faculty and staff will be subject to a membership fee.
Students, faculty and staff are expected to have access to two swimming pools, a rock climbing wall, a spa, a cardio and weight room, a two-court gym, a running track, racquetball courts and locker rooms.
The 118,700-square-foot facility is currently in the planning and design phase, but will soon replace the outdoor basketball courts at the corner of Font and Lake Merced Boulevards.
Director of Campus Recreation Pam Su insists that solicitation for the project was not fueled by frustration with SF State’s 64-year-old gymnasium. Rather, the center will be a venue for a range of activities that supplement the gym’s existing offerings.
“Having a recreation center open from early morning to late at night really fits a student’s lifestyle, rather than the shared facilities we have now,” said Su. The Recreation Wellness Center’s planned hours of operation are 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
A recreation center can be useful to college students who may be vulnerable to sacrificing their health in order to provide time for studies, social life and employment. The Recreation Wellness Center will be the only non-academic building that is dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Staff and faculty are also encouraged to use the center. According to Su, “When faculty work out with students and are concerned about their own health and fitness, a recreation center becomes a community space where faculty, staff and students have the same goals of being fit, being active and taking care of their wellness.”
The Recreation Wellness Center’s state-of-the-art facilities are close proximity to student housing and have raised questions about a possible threat to SF State’s privately-owned gym, Village Fitness Center. But the center’s operations manager, Mark Penacerrada, says that it is too early to say if the gym’s business will be affected.
“As of now we’re excited,” Penacerrada said. “We will support anything that serves the health and wellness of students.”
If the Recreation Wellness Center detracts students’ attention from Village Fitness, Penacerrada said that the gym will consider joining forces with SF State’s recreation department.
“We’re all about partnerships,” said Penacerrada. “Village Fitness will be happy to join with the new center if we need to.”
The architecture firm WRNS is overseeing the project. Their design will honor SFSU’s commitment to sustainability through water and energy efficiency, natural light and building with sustainable materials
“The idea is to create a modern, forward leaning building that expresses the dynamic activity of the campus,” said Mitch Fine, the project manager. “The center will be a new hub of student life, an iconic gateway that will provide identity for SF State.”
Construction is expected to begin in late 2015.