A renovated and expanded Recreation and Wellness Center is scheduled to open later this year at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs

A renovated and expanded Recreation and Wellness Center is scheduled to open later this year at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

University of Colorado Colorado Springs expands recreation center to keep up with student enrollment growth

$16.3 million project has been designed to receive a LEED gold rating for its green features.

Work is continuing on renovations and additions that will nearly double the size of the Recreation and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS).

The $16.3 million expansion project is scheduled to be completed in October 2015.

The existing recreation center opened in 2007, with 54,000 square feet of space to serve a student body of 7,700 as well as faculty and staff members. As enrollment increased, those facilities were not large enough to accommodate the demand, and students voted in 2012 to raise their fees to pay for a $16.3 million expansion of the center. By fall 2014, student enrollment surpassed 11,100.

The expanded center will have additional cardio and strength equipment, multipurpose studios for group exercise, basketball courts, additional men’s and women’s locker rooms, two gender-neutral restrooms, office space, a social gathering area and a welcome center. The facility also will include a student health center and a counseling center. The university says it will be the first in the nation to house campus recreation, the student health center, counseling center, and certain elements of nutrition within the same facility.

The existing recreation center received a LEED gold rating for its environmentally friendly design and construction. Officials say the expanded Recreation and Wellness Center also has been designed to LEED Gold Standards. Among its green elements: water-efficient landscaping to reduce irrigation water use by 50 percent; natural, on-site storm water treatment; use of local materials and recycled content for construction; and a touch screen showing real-time measurements of building energy use.

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