University explores possibility of new rec center

University Architect Tom Ganey and architecture firm Moody Nolan Inc. associate Janet Jordan gave a presentation before the Marquette Student Government Thursday night about improving the Rec Center and announced an official report will be released in early November.

The report will include a history of Rec Center improvements, full results from a Student Voices survey conducted last year and comparisons between Marquette’s Rec Center and schools across the nation, particularly the Midwest.

The report will also include short and long-term recommendations regarding the building of a new Rec Center.

Jordan said a survey last year found about 87 percent of Marquette students use the recreational facilities, and the Marquette student on average has about 7.48 square feet of space for themselves. According to the presentation, the national average is around 10-12 square feet.

Ganey said the average amount of space per student is steadily rising at campuses around the country.

MUSG President Meghan Ladwig and Vice President Joseph Ciccone gave a presentation explaining why a new Rec Center is being discussed.

Ciccone, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said students have been voicing concerns that the current facilities lack the appropriate space to fit the needs of students, club sports and intramural sports.

Ladwig, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said MUSG has been working closely with university officials to keep the ball rolling on this issue.

“The primary concern is finding a long-term solution to recreation and wellness on campus, as well as ensuring that short-term initiatives continue in the meanwhile,” she said.

Ladwig and Ciccone toured the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois-Chicago’s east and west campuses and DePaul University, comparing the universities’ facilities with Marquette’s and gathering ideas for a potential new facility.

Ladwig said DePaul stood out as having the nicest and newest facility.

In an interview earlier this month, John Sweeney, director of Recreational Sports, said his main concern regarding the current facilities was the lack of space to accommodate the ever-growing numbers of students who are using the facilities.

Ganey said these are important steps that MUSG is taking toward getting a new project going on campus, but also said that with all of the other construction projects around campus recently, this project still may be a few years off.

“In all likelihood, the only people in the room who may see any of the action on this are the freshmen,” he said.

When asked about any initial price estimates, Ganey said numbers aren’t on the table yet.

A concern with the building of a new Rec Center is the location, Ganey said. If the current facility was demolished, there is a concern about where the students would be able to exercise during the rebuilding process.

Ganey said spaces around campus are being looked into for possible relocation, if only temporarily.

Since January of last year, around $250,000 of renovations have been put into the Rec Center, including new cardio equipment, windows, carpeting and paint.