Research aids Wellness Center expansion

Nick Lowrey


The SDSU Wellness Center is looking to expand as the student body grows.

The Wellness Center Advisory Committee created a subcommittee last fall to do research on what an expansion to the facility should include. The subcommittee conducted a survey of SDSU students and held a series of focus groups. The members of the subcommittee also visited a number of SDSU’s peer institutions in the effort to gather information.

Members of the subcommittee presented the results of their research at the April 9 Students’ Association meeting. They detailed some of their ideas for what could be included in a 58,300 sq. ft. expansion, likely to be built on the north side of the existing Wellness Center. The subcommittee’s work has been done as part of the first step in the process of building the expansion.

“We’re just getting our ducks in a row,” said Evan Robb, a former SA senator and member of the Wellness Center Advisory Committee subcommittee. “All the stuff we’re doing is so that we can go in front of the Board of Regents for a request for proposal.”

Before any construction can begin it must first be approved by the BOR, which is a three-step process. The first step is gaining approval to issue a request for proposal to construction firms on the cost and design of the expansion. There is no firm time line yet for the construction of the expansion to be started, much less completed.

“It could be next year, it could be two years, and it could be three years. It really depends on what (SA) does,” said Marysz Rames, vice president for Student Affairs.

BOR priorities will play a big role in determining when the Wellness Center will be expanded, according to Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, Doug Wermedal. Right now the BOR is focused on the construction of new residence halls and academic facilities.

“Where (the Wellness Center) fits into BOR priorities, I don’t know,” Wermedal said. He went on to say that he hopes to establish more concrete dates next fall.

Members of SA are looking forward to moving forward on the Wellness Center expansion project. Robb explained that because of the extended timetable involved, the subcommittee will likely have to present their findings again in the fall.

“It will eventually happen, we just don’t know when,” Robb said.

The subcommittee’s survey found that the top priority for students in the expansion was aquatic facilities, which are now shared with the HPER. The second priority students listed was extended hours. Students also shared some of their top complaints and the first was that the Wellness Center was too crowded — a problem likely to get worse as the student body continues to grow.

“Once we have 802 more beds on campus we’re really going to need (the expansion),” said SA President Jameson Berreth.

The expansion that was presented on April 9 would include office space, a pharmacy, an area for children and a new heated pool. It is projected to cost more than $13.5 million and would require a raise in the General Activity Fee of around $4. The Wellness Center is funded in large part by student fee dollars.

“That fee raise wouldn’t happen without student consent,” Robb said.