Students to vote on facilities improvements

Oregon State University students will be voting May 20-21 on whether or not to use student fees to pay for two RecSports projects that will expand existing facilities and create year-round usage for the entire community.

One of the projects is the creation of a Outdoor Recreation Complex, which will be created from an existing intramural sports field. The field will be converted into synthetic fields with sports lights, seven outdoor tennis courts, outdoor basketball courts and a central plaza.

The complex will be lit at night for evening use, and will also include space for six intramural fields, or three soccer fields or three softball fields, as well as three sand volleyball courts, and a park with basketball, bouldering wall, a barbecue area and other amenities.

The recreation plaza will include restrooms, storage and picnic areas. Thirty parking spaces will be added to accommodate visitors.

The cost of the project will be $7 million, which includes design, permitting, direct construction, equipment and contract administration. Student fees will pay off the bonds for the project, which will be purchased in March 2010. Construction is set to begin in Fall 2010.

Also included in the project list is the renovation of McAlexander Fieldhouse, which was built as an armory in 1912. The facility is currently underutilized, and improvements will increase the usability and safety of the facility.

The $3 million project will include a new hard surface court area to replace the existing concrete court structure, replacement of existing turf with new synthetic turf, a multi-functional climbing wall that includes a repelling station, a challenge course, exterior windows, repair and painting of walls and a bouldering wall.

No substantial improvements have been made to the building in the last 30 years. With more than 30,000 square feet of open, unobstructed space for interior activities, it’s the largest building of its kind on campus. With renovations the usability of the space is expected to greatly increase.

Construction within McAlexander is expected to begin in spring 2010, with a completion date of fall 2010.
If students vote to approve the projects, they will see a student fee increase of $17 per term in fall, winter and spring, and $12.75 per term in the summer, beginning fall term 2010.

~ Theresa Hogue

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