Students await expanded AC

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After the chaotic construction that students saw on campus last year, it seems that there are no signs of it slowing down.

With the growing population of Wilfrid Laurier University, expansion has become a necessity.

Starting in August, the Athletic Complex will undergo renovations that will almost double its current size.

If everything goes as planned, an additional 10,800 square feet will be ready for use by August 2013.

Despite initial hesitation amongst students, many seem on board with the disturbances that will occur in order to improve the facility.

In order to keep space readily available for students and community members, initial construction is expected on the steel structure rather than the space used for fitness and recreation.

Although students will be required to use a tunnel to walk into the Athletic Complex, they will have access to all machines and facilities throughout the school year.

Laura Tichonchuk, a second-year kinesiology student is one of several students worried about the lack of accessibility for students, and believes that the construction may turn people off from working out.

“People use the AC every day to train, play intramurals and practice for varsity sports,” Tichonchuk said. “If that space is limited, people may not be as motivated. However in the long run, the gym will be bigger and better to accommodate everyone’s needs.”

Similar to Tichonchuk is Kim Francis, a second-year science student who believes she shouldn’t have to account for time in her workout to wait for machines – something most people currently face at the complex.

According to Laurier’s Athletics Department, there will be some closures next summer, but nothing will be shut down during the 2012-13 school year and students will have full access to the gym.

Echoing the thoughts of Tichonchuk and Francis is Jordan Epstein, a fourth-year kinesiology student.

According to Epstein, “Anybody who has used the gym before, especially in January during ‘New Years’ resolution season,’ knows that it needs more workout space. While a full year of construction is going to be an inconvenience, I believe that the end result will be worth it.”

Students have expressed concerns as to how exactly how this development will be paid for. For those students worried that this will cause a hike in tuition – do not fear.

Peter Baxter, director of athletics and recreation promises that [the renovation] will not change the student fees for coming years. According to Baxter, fees were taken from the student levy fee from the beginning of the 2011 school term.


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