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  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  Plans for recreation center at UIS move step closer

June 17, 2004

SPRINGFIELD - Plans to build a recreation and fitness center at the University of Illinois at Springfield moved a step closer to reality today when the U of I Board of Trustees approved the project to construct a 66,000-square-foot multipurpose facility on the UIS campus. The project still requires approval by the Illinois Board of Higher Education, which is expected to act on the matter in August.

Proposed Recreation and Fitness Center for the UIS CampusThe vote followed a UIS student referendum in April 2003 supporting construction of the center and an assessment by the Division of Student Affairs in conjunction with outside and university consultants that determined the need for the center based on increasing student enrollment.

“The Board of Trustees has placed its stamp of approval on the collective vision of this university,” said Dr. Chris Miller, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. “The Chancellor has effectively conveyed to the university administration and the trustees that student development is a priority for this campus, and an emphasis on health and wellness is crucial in that development.”

The center would include fitness and exercise rooms and equipment, racquet courts, volleyball/basketball courts, performance arena, locker rooms, weight training room and equipment, and administrative and amenity spaces.

“The programmed facility is to be large enough to support increased underclass enrollment and to facilitate the needed development of fitness, wellness, and student life programs on the campus,” Dr. Miller said.

UIS Student Andrew Hollingsead, who represents UIS on the Board of Trustees, helped lead the effort for the recreation center and passage of the student referendum last year.  A total of 66% of the students who voted supported establishment of a recreational facilities fee starting at $60 per semester and increasing over a three-year period beginning in FY2005.

Chancellor Richard Ringeisen noted, given that the design and construction of the center will take three years, “the commitment on the part of our forward-thinking students is astounding.”  He emphasized that the facility will provide a range of activities for students and staff, younger and older, whether they live on campus or commute to campus.

The proposed location is just west of Kiwanis Stadium and south of University Hall and Lincoln Residence Hall.  If plans proceed on schedule, the center would open in August 2007.

The project will be funded from the proceeds of a future sale of auxiliary facilities system revenue bonds.

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 40 degree programs – 20 bachelor’s, 19 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.
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