For Kansas University students hoping to use recreational services this year, things will look much like driving on Kansas Highway 10 lots of construction work and some uncertainty.
Yet after a year of sacrifices in 2002-2003, KU students will be rewarded with the best recreation facilities Mount Oread has ever had.
"Everything is coming along," said Mary Chappell, director of recreation services. "We're hoping students will endure for another year, and then the payoff will be enormous."
The Student Recreation Fitness Center, between Watkins Health Center and 18th Street, will provide a state-of-the-art facility to supplement Robinson Gymnasium, the primary workout center on campus.
The new center will feature multiple sports courts, weight-lifting machines, a jogging track, a commons area and various multipurpose rooms.
"Right now (Robinson) is just too small, and on certain days of the week you have to wait to work out," said Sarah Coleman, a KU junior from Wichita.
Recreation services also is redoing Shenk Fields, 23rd and Iowa streets. The home for flag football, soccer and softball is being renovated. That project will re-level the fields and help drainage.
The makeover will last an entire year, and that has Chappell looking to find new playing areas for KU's intramural and club sports teams.
"We're kind of scrambling," she said. "We'll play everywhere we can, the fields between Robinson and the health center, indoors, wherever we can find some green space."
Graduate student Josh Farrar won't be around to see the additions, but he said he hoped KU didn't have the problems that occurred when he was a student at the University of Delaware.
"It was an awesome facility when it was finished," Farrar said. "But for awhile they had all the weight machines on the basketball courts."
Chappell said such a scenario wasn't likely and she was already working on arrangements with other facilities in the city.
She also said recreation services would look into allowing graduates to use the new facilities.
"Students have always been last," Chappell said. "But they're going to be first on this one."
- For more information about opportunities available, contact recreation services at 864-3546 or on the Web at www.ku.edu/~recserv.