Approval for UW-L's Recreational Eagle Center expansion starts with students

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- UW-L’s Recreational Eagle Center opened in 1997.

Now there are 2,000 more students, and they said it can get crowded.

“It is pretty frustrating, especially when you only have certain times to go weight lifting,” said freshman Jacob Tenpas.

“It gets pretty frustrating when you only have certain times when you can work out,” said freshman Mackaylin Larsen.

“A lot of people who go play basketball, and we get in there and every court is full,” said freshman Travis Wirt.

Ninety-two percent of students who responded to a survey said when they visited the REC they experienced congestion that altered or hindered their workout.

UW-L assistant director of recreation sports Nathan Barnhart also said in some cases that congestion caused students not to workout there.

“There’s a handful of students that buy memberships through other places in town, and to know that we’re not able to do, and serve our students is frustrating,” said Barnhart.

UW-L is hoping to build an approximately 30,000 square foot addition on the southwest corner of the current building.

The approximately $8 million, two story addition would have a larger strength and cardio room and a multi-activity court for games such as ultimate Frisbee, rugby and indoor flag football.

However, first students will vote.

Then the project has to be approved by the u-w system board of regents and the state building commission.

“If the expansion of the Recreational Eagle Center is approved, there will be a $14 increase to student fees.

“I think it would be worth it, but at the same time I don’t see why we’d have to pay more,” said Tenpas.

“I think it will free up a lot more space in there,” said Larsen.

“Definitely worth the $14,” said Wirt.

Students will decide on Tuesday, April 15 whether to approve the $14 dollar per year increase to student fees.
Voting will be done online from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

If approved, UW-L hopes to start construction in the summer of 2016, and to complete construction in the fall of 2017.

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