SDBOR approves Wellness Center expansion


It’s official: South Dakota Board of Regents unanimously approved a $14.4 million addition to the Wellness Center at their Oct. 5 meeting. 

The Wellness Center expansion is expected to break ground late in the 2017 spring semester.

The expansion plans have been in the works for about two years, according to Doug Wermedal, associate vice president for Student Affairs. The student body has been requesting more space in the Wellness Center to accommodate for more intramural courts and more weight and cardio machines.

The expansion will add on to the north side of the current facility, using some but not all of the green space between the Wellness Center and Coughlin Alumni Stadium.

The addition will bring a new gymnasium court, a Multipurpose Activity Court, two racquetball courts, a small studio, more fitness space, an Outdoor Programs space and additional storage spaces.

There will also be a Student Health Clinic remodel that will bring the Jackrabbit Pharmacy to the main lobby hallway and will add more clinic rooms and counseling spaces.

The welcome desk will be relocated to a more central space between the new and old buildings. Where the current desk is, conference rooms will be added so the clinic can use more square footage.

Wermedal said the funding for the expansion will come from the students’ general activity fund, but student tuition will not increase. For each credit hour, students pay $33.90 for their general activity fee, and $4.50 of this money will be used for the expansion.

Once ground has been broken, Wermedal said the construction will take about 18 months. He said officials are hopeful the expansion will lead to an increase in community memberships and greater usage of the facility overall.