Inside the Recreation Center construction

Elizabeth Lilppolis

Trailers, fences, and piles of dirt outside of the athletic center are indications to students and faculty that our school is changing, but what is the change?
A five million-dollar bond issue presented by the Connecticut Hospital and Educational Funding Authority is allowing Quinnipiac to expand its athletic center. The new facilities expecting to be completed in September 2002 will include an indoor track and an additional recreation center, Director of Facilities Joseph Rubertone said. The additions will be available to all full time students and faculty, including athletes, the intramural department and other students who choose to use the new accommodations.
Since Quinnipiac is growing the new athletic and recreational additions are important to the development of the school. Since 1995, the school has increased in size from 2000 students to 6000, and from 12 varsity sports teams to 21, Athletic Director Jack McDonald said. “Indoor training is so important in New England,” McDonald said. “The winter is primetime college life and during that time the facilities here usually get overcrowded. We are really starting to need the extra space.”
The largest element of the development, is the recreation center and the upstairs track. The recreation center will double in size from two basketball courts to four and a tenth of a mile indoor track will be placed upstairs above the recreation center overlooking the outside athletic fields. McDonald said he hopes that aerobic bikes and other cardiovascular machines will occupy each corner of the indoor track, allowing for more space for free weights in the weight room downstairs. The addition will allow sports teams to practice on one side of the recreation center while intramural teams and other recreational events are able to play on the other side.
“I think this is going to be a great addition to the athletic center,” senior intramural worker Tim Blaquer said. “It will give us more space to manage varsity and intramural teams along with other people who just want to exercise.”
The new expansion will also allow the department of sports medicine to grow. New sports medicine offices and more training rooms will be located on the bottom floor along side of the recreation center. Furthermore, offices for the athletic department including Intramural Coach Bill Merrill and Physical Education Director Rosemary DeGrand will be located on the second floor on the side of the new track.
Since the expansion of the athletic center expands outwards towards the sports fields and the tennis courts, many students have concerns regarding the outdoor basketball courts and the interference with other sports teams.
“The outdoor basketball courts are always full of students,” senior Matt Hunt said. “If the expansion takes that away, I hope they are ready to build a new one.”
Rubertone said the school already has plans to relocate the courts. The tentative plans for the outdoor courts are to be moved to a space in between the Irma and Dana dorms. Rubertone also said that the expansion would not interfere with the tennis courts or other outdoor varsity teams. In addition to the relocation of the basketball courts, Rubertone said there are plans to use the space in the circles of dorms such as The Village and The Commons to place other recreational facilities such as basketball hoops, volleyball nets and horseshoes.
“The expansion is much needed and long overdue,” McDonald said. “I think it’s going to be real nice and will benefit a lot of people.”