For student’s, summer means vacation and time away from campus to take a break from studying. But for campus recreation professionals, summer is an opportunity. Facilities are quieter and, therefore, it is the perfect time for renovations. North Carolina State University will be finishing up one of their expansion and renovation projects this summer, just in time for the students to return in the fall.
The school will be undergoing several campus recreation renovation projects over the next couple of months, the first being the locker room and fitness center expansion. “This project allows us to update and improve our locker room spaces as well as adding much needed fitness center space to meet the needs of the North Carolina State community,” said Jason Spivey, the associate director of university recreation. “This project also addresses outdated building systems, improving efficiencies and updates mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems.”
Planning for the renovation and expansion projects began several years ago by looking at a snapshot of the facilities. According to Spivey, they wanted to grow and broad their current offering. The current locker room project will add approximately 5,000 square feet of fitness center space, re-purpose underutilized and inefficient men’s locker room space, upgrade finishes in locker rooms and provide a “health club” look and feel, as well as address facility accessibility and safety deficiencies.
Since the building was originally constructed in 1961, the age of building presented the biggest challenge throughout the process. Spivey explained information and schematics regarding the building were not readily available. However, the project was necessary in order to repurpose and modernize outdated spaces in order to make the recreation facilities a hub of health and wellness on North Carolina State’s campus.
If you are also undergoing a renovation or expansion project, Spivey offered a few pieces of advice to hopefully help make the process a little smoother and stress free. “Have patience and understand that things are not going to go as originally planned,” he added. “Flexibility is key. Also, an open dialogue with contractors and project managers are curial. Finally, transparency in communication with external groups like students, members and the university community is also important.”