The demolition of Sartain Hall is set to start as early as the spring 2016 semester, in preparation for the construction of the new recreation center.
The Student Government Association held a town hall meeting Monday night that focused on discussion of this new facility.
The 70 students in attendance provided feedback in a forum-style discussion on preferences for the new recreation center, including equipment, possible hours of operation and additional food options.
“We see this facility as a tremendous need,” said Mark Tillman, dean of the College of Health and Human Services. “Keep in mind that we do not have an unlimited budget, so we need to differentiate in what we want and what we need.”
According to John Dew, senior vice chancellor of student services and administration, the university will get feedback from students, faculty and staff. Then architectural firms will be invited to provide bids and designs, and the budget will be estimated based on this input.
The task force to collect feedback includes three SGA representatives, leadership from the student recreation office, faculty who teach recreational management and individuals who have been involved in the design of similar structures in the past.
“We want it to be ready as soon as possible in the academic year 2016-2017,” Dew said. “The sooner it is, the better.”
The most popular recreational facilities on campus currently are the fitness center and the Natatorium.
The fitness center averages 336 students a day, with the heaviest use between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., according to Shane Tatum, coordinator of facilities and recreation. About 60 students visit the Natatorium daily to use the indoor, eight-lane, 25-yard, Olympic-sized pool.
Multi-athletic courts, accessible equipment, ample workout space, instructor-led fitness classes, a leisure pool and healthier food options were some of the ideas mentioned for the new facility.
Hours of operation suggestions generally centered on staying open later rather than opening earlier.
According to an email sent last May, a $100 student fee will be charged to “all Troy Campus students taking six or more credit hours during the fall and spring semester and a $50 fee during the summer semester for Troy Campus students taking three or more credit hours.”
According to Dew, this fee increment will begin in fall 2016.
Some students said they did not necessarily want to pay for a facility they would not be able to directly utilize. Other students were more concerned with the long-term improvement of the university.
“The betterment of our university is the priority, so regardless of where you are in your time here, the betterment of the university surpasses our four years of being here,” said Sam Moody, a sophomore global business major from Montgomery.
With the demolition of Sartain, it is currently uncertain where the kinesiology department will be relocated. However, Dew mentioned the possibility of having teaching and research space for the program in the new structure. He also said that the possibility for students in those programs to work in the recreational center, as a part of their academic curriculum, would be considered.
A student survey has been emailed and made available to all Troy University students concerning their preferences for the new recreation facility.
Christina Martin, coordinator of assessment for the kinesiology and health promotion department, said all students should participate and include any additional desires in the comment section at the end of the survey.
There have been about 800 student survey responses so far, according to Martin. The deadline to complete the survey is Thursday, Sept. 24, by 5 p.m.
The survey can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TROYRECusageanddesign.