The transformation of the USF athletic village has gotten another step closer when the University held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Dining Hall and Campus Recreation Center Expansion last week.
The $14 million dollar project provides 51,050 square feet of space for exercise and fitness facilities along with a dining/food court, a state-of-the-art student-athlete training table, meeting space and a commercial grade kitchen with catering amenities. Funds for theproject were allocated through the Capital Improvement Trust Fund (CITF).
"This is a terrific day for USF students as we deliver on a promise to provide world-class facilities to your university," said USF President Judy Genshaft. "At USF, we believe in supporting the whole student – your mind, your body and your spirit. I can think of no better way than to provide you with the best fitness facilities to strengthen your body and a dining facility that will provide you the best of nutrition.
These facilities will be located on the east side of campus in front of the current Campus Recreation and the Sun Dome. They will serve as multi-purpose facilities for the general student population and provide space for programs to encourage and reinforce behaviors that promote a higher quality of health and well-being. Construction is scheduled for completion July 2011.
"The renovation of the current Campus Recreation Center has been very exciting for the students who are using it now," said Eric Hunter, director of USF Campus Recreation and one of the people overseeing the project. "The fitness area square footage will be tripled in size and that is our greatest area of need. The addition of an indoor jogging track has also been highly sought for a number of years and will be utilized extensively. Overall, this expansion/renovation comes at a perfect time."
The Recreation Center expansion is an addition to the current USF Campus Recreation Center. The expansion to the Campus Recreation Center will include:
· Increased strength and conditioning square feet/equipment
· Increased cardiovascular exercise equipment (treadmills, ellipticals, steppers, etc) and square footage
· Increased space for group fitness classes
· Brand new indoor running lanes
· New 2-court gymnasium located to the east, adjacent to the current building
· Improved entryway into the Campus Recreation Center
The new dining hall named the South East Student Dining Facility will be attached to the northwest corner of the Sun Dome. This dining facility will feature healthy dining options, grab-n-go options and space for private dining function. It will include 250 seats with moveable walls that can divide the dining area into rooms for athletic team meetings or meals. There will be a vegan station and a fresh vegetable station, and a smoothie vendor will also be available. The facility will also be used for cooking burgers and hot dogs for Sun Dome concessions stands and providing nutritional classes.
This all part of the 35 million dollars worth of projects that will change the face of the USF athletic village, including the 50,000 square foot state-of-the-art Muma Basketball Center to be located on the south side of the Sun Dome, a new baseball stadium, softball stadium and football practice complex. Construction is slated to be completed by early 2011.