Tyler Hicks

Though students might not immediately benefit from the renovations being completed on the Recreational Center, the benefits it will offer once completed outweigh any fees or inconveniences faced now.

Purdue's Recreational Sports Center was constructed in the fall of 1957 and, according to the Center's website, was the first university building in the United States created solely for students' recreational sports needs. The last addition to the Center was constructed in 1981, which was paid with income from students' fees, much like the current Center's renovation. Although the history of this building is impressive, the Center was also in dire need of renovations. The old Center looked like a community YMCA, not a sports facility for a prestigious university with 40,000 students. Many students complained about the lack of space and lack of proper facilities in the old Center and this renovation is an opportunity for those complaints to be addressed.

The new Sports Center will feature many significant improvements when compared to the old building. The renovated Center will be more than 140,000 square feet larger and the space for personal and weight training will be more than doubled. In addition to having more space, there will also be several completely new facilities added. These include a rock climbing wall and bouldering area and multi-purpose fields with sports-turf. This added space and these new facilities will be beneficial to the numerous athletic clubs and intramural teams that Purdue has to offer as well as the students who weren't quite satisfied with what the old Center had to offer.

The new Sports Center could also benefit students' grades as well. There are several studies showing that exercise increases oxygen flow to the brain, increases the ability to plan, multitask and memorize subject matter and wards off decline in mental function. Put simply, exercising is a natural part of life and is crucial in staying healthy, both mentally and physically. The new Center could help students get into the habit of exercising and my promote a healthy lifestyle.

Although the extra fees associated with the Sports Center renovation aren't ideal for those students graduating before the construction is completed, the fact is that we would not have gotten approval for this renovation without Purdue Student Government promising students would pay for it. There was no other feasible way Purdue Student Government could have gotten Indiana's legislators approval for this project without instituting these fees. These fees are staggered so students who will be getting the most use out of the RSC will be paying the highest fees toward the end of the construction timeline, which cuts down on the cost of those students graduating within the next two years.

The new Sports Center will carry huge benefits for the majority of campus. It's been approximately 30 years since the Center last had any renovations. With this extensive renovation, the new Recreational Sports Center should be a long-standing Purdue landmark that the students who paid for it can be proud of.

Tyler Hicks is a junior in the College of Engineering. He can be reached at opinions@purdueexponent.org.


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