Ellen Nelson

Ellen NelsonNews Editor

Nearly three years ago, SDSU’s first ever community Wellness Center was built for an estimated $10 million, though the popularity of the center and the space provided has proved to not be sufficient.

Within less than three years of its construction, the center has outgrown itself and is now undergoing Phase II to plan for what is still needed and wanted in the center.

“Phase two is really a means to brainstorm of what the possibilities could be for the future,” said Mark Ekeland, interim Wellness Center director. “It’s (phase two) for what we didn’t get in round one.”

Exploration of Phase II is also one of the five goals the Wellness Center declared on its Annual Report from the 2009-2010 school year.

Brenda Anderson, associate director of student health services, said that expansion of the Wellness Center will only benefit its users.

“We are totally out of space,” Anderson said. “We’re practically busting at the seams.”

With the help of students, staff, architects and planning committees, the Wellness Center will expand and incorporate what was sacrificed upon its first construction, along with the needs voiced from its users.

Phase II incorporates all aspects of health services that are provided through the Wellness Center. With Phase II, “We really want to meet the needs of everyone that is impacted by the facility,” Ekeland said.

In 2009, an electronic survey was sent to 6,000 students and individuals who utilize the Wellness Center to measure overall satisfaction with the Wellness Center. The survey resulted that 25 percent of its users said the Wellness Center’s facilities were too crowded and 40.39 percent said they would support a fee to increase, enhance or add to the facility. A frequent comment that was also stated in the survey was complaints of the cool temperature of the HPER pool.

Phase II is considering adding onto the available amenities by including a therapeutic, warm water, zero-depth entry pool, three courts, a new free weight area, an expanded cardio equipment area, racquetball courts, a stretching area, more studios, a facility and area for child care, expansion and remodeling for an additional health and counseling office area and outdoor improvements to the intramural and sport club field.

Student athlete John Bisson, pre-dentistry major, said he supports expansion of the Wellness Center.

“I’d like to see more court space and updates to the pool deck and pool area,” he said.

Construction possibilities and expansions will ultimately depend on approved budget and appropriate architectural designs, though there is room to the north and west to build on, Ekeland said.

“We’re hoping to construct to the west, but will have to discuss it with architects,” Ekeland said. “To the north there could potentially be room for more office space, and possibly the warm water swimming pool.”

Ekeland said SA and multiple committees are helping to plan a vision for what all may be included in Phase II.

#1.1825372:589708869.png:Wellness-1-Cory-Morrow-6.png:Though it is a beneficial addition to the HPER Center on campus, the Wellness Center is already out of space. In Phase II of the building, directors intend to add racquetball and basketball courts, stretching areas, expanded workout and studio spaces to better serve the users of the center.:Collegian Photo by Corey Morrow