Mary Peters-

Improvements for the University Recreation building are far overdue, as the last renovations took place back in 2010 when some floors were repainted. According to statistics from the recent National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) survey, “90 percent of students indicate that improving our recreation and sports complex facilities is important for future students…[and] 70 percent of students would like to see more recreation, sports and fitness facilities at University of WisconsinStout. ” The process of making the needed improvements is very lengthy and complicated; luckily, the Senator of Athletics for the Stout Student Association, Jared Allen, and many others have been making progress in accomplishing this.

The biggest issue is the cost of it all, as renovating buildings is not cheap. Allen started the process of obtaining the money by creating an extremely detailed proposal and presentation. After presenting this to the Stout Student Association, they were able to use the money granted to them to go further by planning developments in phases to be done over a four year period. In the next couple of weeks, the builders will be meeting with them to discuss these developments, “…hitting the ground running,” confirmed Allen.

Who picks what needs to be improved? Senator Allen and others involved in planning changes looked at two NIRSA surveys, one from 2012 and one from 2016. These surveys are completed by all on campus that choose to do so. The survey indicated four main areas of desired improvement: more fitness and cardio space with better and more machines, updated locker rooms, more open recreation space with more courts (and possibly another track) and a new outdoor field in place of the current soccer field. “We need to get together and we need to do something about [this], … La Crosse, Oshkosh, Platteville, River Falls and Whitewater are all doing projects on their recreation facilities… We are behind the curve,” explained Allen.

The final presentation was made very recently to the Chancellor, who will then pitch that to the Board of Regents. Everything is happening quite quickly to get the improvements started. Students who regularly use parts of the facilities are excited to see what changes are made. Students will also be a part of focus groups and more surveys once they really get started. These are long overdue changes, but they are completely in the works for UWStout.

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