EAST LANSING — Planning soon will begin for a student health, wellness and fitness center at Michigan State University which could include a pool.
The MSU Board of Trustees authorized officials to begin planning for the student facility at their meeting Friday. The new recreation center would be constructed in an area bounded by Shaw Lane, Birch Road and Harrison Road and replace the IM West fitness center on Chestnut Road.
Planning is underway, but the project does not yet have any estimated costs. Meanwhile, the Board of Trustees also approved $13-million plans to build two full-size, multipurpose artificial turf fields to be located on Service Road in the south academic district.
Full lighting will accompany the turf fields, as well as two support buildings with storage, office space and restrooms. A canopy connecting the two buildings will provide weather protection. An abandoned geothermal field will be removed as part of the project.
“When we surveyed our students and asked what they really wanted as far as fitness needs across campus, outdoor fields was one of the number one areas that they thought the university was lacking,” said Dan Bollman, vice president for strategic infrastructure planning and facilities. “Creating this artificial turf complex … will really extend our season for outdoor activities from March through November. And it’s a very versatile complex. It’ll allow us to play everything from lacrosse to rugby to soccer to you name it.”
The university could also consider opening the fields to community use during the summer when most students are off-campus, Bollman said.
Construction should be completed and the fields should be accessible by the start of the fall 2022 semester. The health, wellness and fitness center project likely will need a year for planning and two years for construction.
“It’s going to take a while for a facility to be built, this will augment that,” said Trustee Melanie Foster.
Both projects will be funded by a student recreation fee. The fee began to be charged this year at $100 per student or $50 per semester. The fee rises to $180 next year and $260 in 2023-24 and every year after.
Designs and features of the health, wellness and fitness center will develop as the planning process begins. Plans shown during the Board of Trustees meeting show the project could include gymnasiums, racquetball courts, a rock wall, a multipurpose room and locker rooms.
MSU President Samuel Stanley Jr. said officials are also considering including a pool.
Contact Mark Johnson at 517-377-1026 or at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @ByMarkJohnson.