After months of delay, floor plans for the former pool space in the Recreation Fitness Center are finally in the works.
The pool space is to be divided into two sections: the front half, which faces the lobby, will become a varsity level athletic weight room, while the back space will be turned into a open floor cardio room. Space that was previously used for pool mechanics and storage will become additional locker rooms.
Bill Born, vice president of student life, said the proposed floor plans were largely based on feedback from Student Senate forums and surveys given to students, faculty and RFC patrons. All three groups cited a need for better physical education classrooms, a free-weight room for varsity athletes and more locker rooms to accommodate athletes and RFC visitors.
To address these concerns, the new cardio space will be used for physical education courses, Zumba and pilates classes, and various Student Life activities. Born hopes the new room will better serve physical education classes that are usually taught in Gunden Gymnasium, where they compete with other groups for space.
The new free-weight room, meanwhile, will include new equipment suited for varsity athletes. Across the hall, the existing weight room will remain for community members.
Hans Weaver, a senior Student Senate member, is supportive of the pool space upgrade. “Our weight room is currently below-average and is in need of a serious upgrade,” Weaver said. “[It's] used by students, community members and athletes, and our current selection of equipment is not great. Hopefully when this upgrade takes place, some of the equipment is updated and the workout space becomes more appealing.”
Behind the varsity weight room and cardio space will be two new locker rooms, one for men and one for women. The current locker rooms are overcrowded by visitors and athletes from multiple sports, Born said.
“We are confident the new space will serve the campus community better than the pool did,” Born said. “The new plan is more program-central and student-focused.”
For months, the former pool space in the RFC has remained largely dormant. Occasionally, the space is used for off-season athletic training and events like the Habitat for Humanity wall-building that will take place this Friday evening, but otherwise it remains vacant.
This will change, of course, once construction begins, but Born is not sure how soon that will be. The GC administration is currently researching prices for heating, cooling and flooring, and deciding how to fund the project.
“It’s not going to be like the Union [construction project], sitting there for two decades,” Born said of the pool space. “We know what we want to put in there, we’re just not ready to say when.”
Commuter lounge to be ready by fall
The Goshen College commuter lounge, originally slated for completion in November 2012, is now expected to be completed by the time school starts next fall. Renovations may begin as early as April, said Bill Born, vice president of student life.
“We’re committed to this project and we’ve been working on adding funding for it,” Born said.
The new lounge will include a renovated kitchen, new lockers and more study space.
Construction on the commuter lounge was delayed after the President’s Council choose to use the designated space to house the new Welcome Center instead. The council decided move the project back until they had enough funding to “build something we will be happy with in the long-term,” Born said.
For now, a temporary commuter lounge is located in the basement of Kulp.