By the time students return to the Washburn University campus for the fall semester, the Student Recreation and Wellness Center will have brand new floors. The renovations began around the first week of July, and are currently on schedule to meet the finalization date for Aug. 1.
The SRWC opened in 2004, and will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary in October. Due to the combination of the anniversary celebration as well as the traffic wear on the floors, it was the perfect time to update.
“10 years is a long time for a floor, especially with all the programs and equipment we offer our students,” said John Cummings, the associate director for SRWC.
Upon completion, the SRWC will have new carpet in the employee and staff office spaces, carpet in the Ichabod room, as well as new flooring in the multi-purpose room. The change that will be most obvious is the new floor being laid to replace the entire lobby’s current flooring.
The restorations involved a demolition process to the floors in order to completely rebuild them from the base level. In addition to repair, the fixes will also be preventative. Crews are checking for potential problem spots while repairing already damaged areas.
Despite demolition, the SRWC has kept their scheduled hours of operation and has experienced minimal disruption. Even with the lobby floor situation, they still kept the main entrance functioning until last Friday. The announcement was made to students and patrons of the SRWC July 11 via Facebook that visitors are now asked to enter through the south east door, located in the stair well. This entrance is located by the tennis court parking lot.
“We tried to keep that main entrance open as long as possible when we started the renovations, but it got to point that in order to facilitate project being done in time, we had to move main entrance and disrupt a little,” said Cummings. “We are still open for business and it’s not really affecting people working out. Lockers and elevators are still operating, and we’re hoping to shut down only one or two days if that.”
The SRWC announced July 18 that the locker rooms would be inaccessible temporarily during the final stages of the floor project.
Although the renovations are taking place, theSRWC has not seen a drop in attendance different than past summers. They believe this is because all regular programs and equipment have still been available to the students and staff that frequent the gym.
Allison Carr is a junior criminal justice major. Her employment with the SRWC started in August 2012. She spoke about her experience with the renovations.
“It has been an adjustment, not doubt, but almost all our services are still available,” said Carr. “I will say that I am very excited about the project, I think it will be a great improvement to our facility.”
During the fall, the SRWC will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. during the week, Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 9 p.m. With a swipe of their iCard, Washburn students have access to free weights, cardio equipment, intramural team opportunities and a two story high rock climbing wall.