The students at North Idaho College have been asking for a new recreation center for nearly 15 years, and finally they are getting one. A new 30,000 square foot Student Wellness and Recreation Center is being constructed in the heart of the campus.
The new facility will bring numerous exciting features to the campus. According to Jessica Bennett, the coordinator of recreational sports, the facility will include a gymnasium, a multi-purpose room, weights and cardio spaces, an indoor cycling room, two fitness rooms, a learning lab, an elevated track and an indoor climbing wall.
Currently, students are sharing the facility with the Athletic program and Physical Education department. The new Student Wellness and Recreation Center will not only give separate space dedicated solely to the entire student body, but it will also enhance the recreation offerings.
“Our current facilities are inadequate for the wellness and recreational needs of our campus,” said Bennett. “This facility will provide endless opportunities to engage our campus community, support the success of our students and improve the physical fitness and overall wellness of our NIC family.”
It seems to always be easy to get students onboard with expansion options, but getting stakeholders on the same page can sometimes be a little more difficult. At North Idaho College, the idea of a recreation facility was brought before the board numerous times, and it failed time after time. However, everyone felt this year the timing was right to put the plans into motion.
“Our most recent attempt was different because all of the right people aligned,” said Bennett. “The students, staff, faculty, administration, president, dormitory housing commission and the board of trustees all came to see the shared vision of the Student Wellness and Recreation Center.”
After getting everyone on board with the new building it was important to find the perfect architect company to break ground. “After evaluating and interviewing a number of highly qualified and talented architects, the firm we chose for this project was ALSC Architects,” said Bennett. “They are a local firm, with a beautiful portfolio and much experience with higher education and recreation facilities. We have been impressed with their ability to turn our vision into a reality.”
After putting together an exemplary team, finding out what the students want and assessing the programming needs the only thing left for North Idaho College is to start the move. The move into the new facility will begin summer of 2017, with the grand opening in the fall semester of that year.