The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Potential new recreational facility projected to cost $60 million

One would be hard-pressed to find a Marquette student who hasn’t had to deal with the clunk and clatter of construction projects during their years on campus. Based on a Thursday night report to the Marquette Student Government, that fine tradition will live on.

University Architect Tom Ganey outlined several potential projects Marquette has on the drawing board for upcoming years, including both renovations and completely new buildings.

“Each new decade brings new opportunities,” Ganey said.

Among the tentative plans are a new Jesuit Residence, a new home for the College of Business Administration and new recreational facilities.

Ganey said each of these projects must undergo much more discussion among administrators before timetables can be considered. He said issues regarding funding and necessity must be discussed at length.

MUSG’s recommendation for a new recreational facility proved the topic of most interest throughout the evening. On that front, Ganey appeared cautiously optimistic.

Based on the current use of the two recreation facilities on campus and the size of the student body, independent consulting firm Moody Nolan, Inc. found that the Marquette facilities were lacking one basketball court and 2,700 square feet of multipurpose space when compared to national averages. MUSG hired the consulting firm to assess the current recreational facilities.

Ganey said this discussion among administrators was completely spurred by students voicing their concerns over the current state of the buildings. The final straw, he said, came when campus tour guides said the current structures were not nice enough to show prospective students.

With respect to a new facility, the initial speculative estimate for a new recreational facility was $60 million — a number immediately rejected by University President the Rev. Robert A. Wild, Ganey said.

Regardless of costs, Ganey said the topic is now part of the university’s campus master plan, and that the final price will eventually be worked down to a fraction of that original estimate. The campus master plan outlines the guidelines to ensure the campus is continually addressing the needs of the evolving world of education.

Ganey said senior leadership found the idea of including a wellness center a particularly challenging one to understand.

MUSG President Meghan Ladwig has said including other aspects of health within the context of a recreational facility has become a national trend. This means anything from counseling centers to Student Health Service could be included in the new complex in an attempt to “educate the whole person,” Ganey said.

During the meeting, MUSG also voted to approve legislation authored by senator Drew Halunen, which suggests Marquette act upon the requests of both MUSG and the University Academic Senate by taking action to extend benefits to “legally domiciled adults,” the domestic partners of Marquette LGBT faculty, staff and administrators.

“From my understanding … this addresses homosexual couples so that their significant others could receive benefits that a married couple would receive,” said Halunen, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences.

In 2007, MUSG passed similar legislation, but no action was taken by administrators. Halunen said as we move into the future, people are reassessing their views on the issue, and that now is a “key time to get something like this done.”

Halunen said the policy would help attract a more diverse faculty as well.

The legislation passed 21-0, with one senator abstaining.

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