Renovations to the Recreation Centre at Conestoga’s Doon campus will provide students with a bright and modern facility designed to meet their recreation, health and fitness needs while providing an ideal venue for college and community athletic programs.
Construction on the new facility began in August, and is expected to take a full year to complete.
The new Centre will include expanded fitness facilities, a triple gymnasium with a hardwood sprung floor to accommodate badminton, volleyball and basketball, and a 200-metre indoor track. Sports and health practitioners, including a massage therapist and chiropractor, will be located on-site. A community and social area will include comfortable furniture and access to healthy snacks and drinks.
Skylights and glass will provide natural light and help to brighten the entire space, which will be accessible from the E-wing at Doon.
Plans for the new facility were developed in consultation with Conestoga Students Inc. (CSI), the college’s official student association. A survey of students conducted by CSI in 2013 helped to clarify student needs and expectations, which will be reflected in the new facility when it opens in 2015.
“It was awesome to have the student voice heard in the process,” said CSI President Jeff Scherer.
According to Paul Osborne, Conestoga’s associate vice president of Marketing and Enrolment Management, the upgrades to the Recreation Centre demonstrate the college’s commitment to supporting the wellness of all students. The expanded facilities will also provide additional access to students in Community Services and Health & Life Sciences programs that include a fitness component.
The improvements to the centre will also help to “elevate the athletics program, recruit better athletes and provide one more checkmark in Conestoga’s favour as we recruit students to come and play here,” Osborne continued.
As well as meeting student and program needs, the new Recreation Centre will continue to serve as a community resource, with gymnasium and facility rentals available to community groups.
As part of the renovation project, the ice rink formerly housed at the Recreation Centre has been closed. Limited student usage, combined with costly renovations required to keep the ice rink viable, resulted in the decision to dedicate the space to broader recreational usage.
Renovations to the Recreation Centre will be supported by students at the Doon and Cambridge campuses through fees paid to CSI beginning in Fall 2015. Students at other campuses will be able to purchase memberships to access the facilities.
The current gymnasium will remain open for students through the renovation project.