Fairfield students have been awaiting the much anticipated completion of the new Leslie C. Quick, Jr. Recreation Complex since the project was announced in 2014 and now, after many donations from the Fairfield Rising campaign, construction is nearing its end.
Construction of the new RecPlex continues right on schedule, according to Dean of Students Karen Donoghue ‘03.
“[Construction] is coming along really well,” Donoghue remarked. “As you can see, physically, they are almost only working inside, so the building is almost completely enclosed which will allow at this point really just the finishing touches to go on inside.”
“The locker rooms are in good shape,” Donoghue continued. “The structure is up and now they are just really working on finishing the infrastructure for electrical, data, IT, all of that sort of stuff that goes into play. And then it’s walls and there you go.”
Director of Recreation Phil Palumbo also verified this, commenting that the new RecPlex will be ready to open at the start of the 2016 fall semester, the same completion time originally slated at the beginning of construction.
Palumbo described the new design as being “lightyears” ahead of the original RecPlex, and he said that he knows that it will be popular among students.
“I think because of the design, the amount of equipment we will be having and the versatility of the equipment we will probably be getting, though not everything is final yet, I think that [the students] will be in awe of what is being done,” Palumbo said.
Donoghue also anticipates that students will enjoy the new RecPlex.
“I think they are going to really appreciate the expanded space as well as the increase in the equipment and the really nice layout that is very open,” she said, “so students can train either together or separately when they are doing their workouts … and I think the spinning option is going to be great for all of our students as well as staff and faculty.”
According to Donoghue, the new RecPlex is to have double the amount of cardio and strength equipment, four multifunctional rooms and one spinning room for indoor cycling on stationary exercise bikes, along with a running track and three large courts with scoreboards for intramurals, clubs and ordinary play.
Several students are also hopeful and excited for the new RecPlex.
Sophomore Monica Willson stated, “I’m definitely excited for the new RecPlex as I enjoy working out. We could definitely use some more machines and a larger space for better air circulation since Alumni Hall’s gym is quite small. Having the new renovation will allow more students to workout during popular times and feel more comfortable and not cramped.”
“As college students, this new investment that the school is making gives us an avenue to get healthy and burn off the freshman 15,” stated Dana Saad ’18. “I am looking forward to the new RecPlex because it is going to be a great way to bring students together and a great opportunity we all have to capitalize on, get healthy and ensure our well-being in the future.”
Some students, who have found alternative means of exercising while the RecPlex is being renovated, have decided that they will return to the RecPlex after construction is completed.
“I don’t usually end up going to the gym at Alumni Hall,” commented Claire Davin ‘18. “I usually end up taking fitness classes, either in Faber, the yoga class that I take or in Alumni Hall for a fitness class. I don’t usually work out on my own, I like to do the classes more.”
Davin mentioned how she did not go to the old RecPlex very often, but she is hoping to go to the new one.
“I’m really excited for the new RecPlex,” she added. “I’m really looking forward to seeing what they do.”
Freshman Jordan Mason, who works out by taking walks around the campus, said she will “definitely” go to the new RecPlex.
“It looks like it’s going to be good,” she said. “I’m a big fan of treadmills, StairMaster, weights and stuff like that. When I go to the gym that’s usually what I head toward. I would imagine [that the new RecPlex will have these things.]”
“I’m really excited for it,” Mason continued. “I think it’s going to be great. I know a lot of other people are really excited for it, too.”
Willson believes that the new RecPlex will be worth the wait.
“Since the renovation is short,” she said, “I feel it’s worth waiting for a new RecPlex to be built to allow students to work out at their convenience and have a greater space and variety in workout equipment.”
Donoghue echoed this sentiment, commenting, “I think construction is challenging, but I think at the end of the day the fact that it was only closed for one year, as hard as this one year was, I believe that every moment that might have been hard for students is going to be worth it when that facility opens up.”