Project Plans for new fitness center still being worked out

The Master Plan includes plans for a new fitness center that will feature improved intramural accommodations as well as new features and equipment.

In addition to the new facility, the current fitness center will be receiving upgrades until the new one opens.

“We have not done anything major but we have made more upgrades and we’re going to continue to keep this building in A1 shape right up to the time we switch over, whatever time that is,” University Recreation Fitness Center Director David Mullinax said. “We feel like this is still very important to the students and we don’t want it to be anything but A plus every time you look at it. We’ve made a lot of improvements and we’ve been able to continue to keep it spick and span and the students have really done a good job helping us do that.”

HFR Design in Nashville was selected in December, out of a possible 18 firms, to design the new building. The new building is expected to break ground in the next six to nine months, according to Mullinax, but he could not confirm.

“We started out with this idea that we were going to build a small facility for intramurals and then try to expand on the fitness center itself by moving some of the intramural thing types out,” Vice President of Planning and Finance Claire Stinson said. “We talked to students and realized that we need to be looking at a new facility”

Stinson went on to say that building a new fitness center would be more cost efficient than building a new intramural facility in addition to upgrades.

The new fitness center will be constructed at the intersection of Seventh and Willow if the University can purchase the rest of the land. According to Stinson, this location is President Oldham’s first choice for the new building. Tech owns 75 percent of that land as of now, according to Stinson.

“We really would like to have it on Willow and Seventh because it gives us the opportunity to build an entrance. Something that says ‘You are at Tennessee Tech,’” Stinson said.

If rest of the intersection at Seventh and Willow cannot be purchased, then University Drive and Willow is the reserve location.

The building is estimated to cost between $8 million and $10 million. According to Mullinax, the completion date is guessed at being in the Fall 2018. (Diazepam)