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University of Nevada, Reno, prepares to build campus fitness facility University of Nevada, Reno

University of Nevada, Reno, prepares to build campus fitness facility

$46 million project will triple the fitness and recreation space available on campus

The University of Nevada, Reno, is scheduled to begin construction in June on a $46 million fitness center.

The E.L. Wiegand Fitness Center, with 110,000 square feet of space, will provide a volume of health and fitness programs that the existing 40-year-old recreation center on campus cannot accommodate.

Jim Fitzsimmons, director of campus recreation and wellness at Nevada-Reno, notes that the existing facility, the Lombardi Recreation Center, was built in 1974, when about 4,000 students were enrolled on campus and the building was designed to support physical education programs rather than fitness and wellness training.

Today, the university has many more students--22,000 students--and a greater percentage of those students, as well as prospective students, want access to more fitness opportunities at the schools they attend.

"We've done a tremendous amount of renovations over the years," he says. "We're just scaling it up. It won't be new programs, just more of what we were doing on a larger scale. We're tripling the space."

Plans call for the new center to have multiple fitness areas for weightlifting, training and many other fitness classes and activities, plus an indoor running track. Three full-court gymnasiums will be available for basketball and other indoor court sports. It will be open to students, faculty and staff.

Funding for construction of the center will come from students fees, university borrowing and private gifts, including an $8 million donation from the E.L. Wiegand Foundation.

The facility is expected to be completed in late 2016 or early 2017. The architect is WORTHGROUP Architects & Designers.

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