Towson University is moving forward with plans for a $40 million project to expand its campus recreation center.
The expansion will add 94,000 gross square feet to the south side of the current recreation center, which is located inside Burdick Hall. The project entered the design phase this past April, and will look to begin construction in April 2015. Officials in the university’s Facilities Department expect the project to be completed before the start of the 2017 fall term.
Campus Recreation Services plans to use the expansion to bring more fitness options to the growing Towson student population.
“It becomes one out and one in because of the space limitations and the fire codes we have,” explains Tia Freiburger, assistant director of facilities and operations for CRS.
“Having the ability to not only increase participation numbers, but also cater to a whole different population of students … it’s going to be a huge recruiting tool. Students will come to Towson and be really excited about all the opportunities this allows them to have.”
With the expansion, the recreation center will add two multi-activity courts, with one being fitted for dasher board to allow the court to be used for roller hockey. Also being added in the expansion is an outdoor recreation center, which will serve as a resource center for trips and equipment rentals and compliment the existing rock climbing wall and challenge course on campus.
CRS is also looking to add an indoor running track, five group exercise rooms, a wet classroom, a café and more office space for the department’s administrative staff.
“This is not only going to create an opportunity for the entire university community to utilize the services we currently provide, but also enhance those services and provide services they haven’t seen before,” says Grady Sheffield, director of CRS. “It’s going to be a gamechanger for this campus.”
Along with the recreation center expansion, CRS will be updating current facilities. Beginning this August, the university will begin work on converting the recreation fields to synthetic turf. The fields should be finished in time for the 2015 spring term, and will allow the recreation fields to be open year round.
“We’re making enhancements to the student-life experience for Towson University students,” Sheffield continues. “Students are going to get everything they need from a recreational, fitness and wellness standpoint on campus. That will be the biggest outcome.”