Backers kick off construction

Brittany Westerberg

Student Association members, former members and other dignitaries wearing yellow and blue hard hats broke ground with blue and gold shovels at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new SDSU Wellness Center held on April 30.

“This marks both an end and a beginning,” said Alex Halbach, a former Student Association president to the crowd of about 100 people who gathered just to the west of the HPER Center. The ceremony signified the end of the planning phase for the new Wellness Center, which began back in 1993 when a consultant found that the existing facilities no longer met SDSU’s demands, and the beginning of the construction phase.

The new $12 million facility, projected to be finished in the fall of 2008, will provide an adequate facility to meet the needs of the students at SDSU, said former Student Association President Ryan Brunner. It will give students at a D-ivision 1 college the D-1 experience that they deserve.

The new Wellness Center plans include areas for both wellness and recreation covering 73,000 square feet, including a 35-foot climbing wall, student-exclusive workout equipment and locker rooms for men and women. A new, expanded area for Student Health is also included in the layout for the new facility, along with offices for administration and other employees.

The center will be open for all students, as athletic teams will be able to use the facilities in the HPER center. Students will manage the facility in a similar arrangement to that of the Student Union.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said David Marquardt, SDSU Foundation President.

“Credit needs to be given to the student body,” said David L. Chicoine, SDSU President, “and to their vision, planning, persistence, and dedication to the future of their campus.”

“They took the dream of a wellness center and made it a reality,” said Marysz Rames, vice president for student affairs.

Chicoine called this project “a town, gown and donor cooperation.” He thanked the community and individual donors, including the city of Brookings, which gave $500,000 towards this project. This level of cooperation, he said, and the closeness of the campus with the community is what will help SDSU aspire to be nationally distinguished.

“This is the type of amenity this campus has to have in order to attract the best and brightest students, faculty and economic activity,” said Chicoine. “It will not only make a difference to the campus and student body, but also to the community.”

#1.883436:3110954129.jpg:wellnessgroundbreaking.jn.jpg:SDSU dignitaries and faculty break ground for the Wellness Center on April dumptruck leaves its load on the future site of the Wellness Center near the HPER Center on May 1.:Brandon DeVries