UI renovations: So much to do

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UI renovations: So much to do

On Mondays throughout the summer, we'll spotlight 10 of the 50-plus construction projects happening on the UI campus while the students are away. Today in Part 3: Recreation center upgrades.

The problems

Daily wear and tear, water damage and basketball courts with no bounce are just a few of the issues that led to this summer's renovations at the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) and Campus Recreation Center East (CRCE).

The sound system at the ARC, which is used about 18 hours a day, was not wired throughout the building, which Associate Director of Operations Terry Elmore said needed to be connected for both practicality and "emergency purposes."

The solution

The renovations at the ARC and CRCE should be completed just in time for the return of the 4,000-plus students who swipe into the fitness centers each day, Elmore said.

Two gyms at the ARC are getting updated flooring, the first since it was built more than 40 years ago.Along with new maple wood, everything underneath is made of recycled materials.

"It goes along with the green initiative for the university," Elmore said.

The south turf fields are being replaced, just two years after the north fields were updated.

The center is also updating the fencing around the fields — from 6 feet to 8, to protect what Elmore estimates to be several million dollars' worth of turf.Both fitness centers are also getting better sound systems, which will connect each room and allow for bluetooth capability.Also in the works: new paint jobs, new lockers in both the men's and women's locker rooms, and new locks (about 600 total between the two buildings).

The bill

The collective costs of the two rec projects comes in at about $3.27 million.

The timeline

Construction has a ways to go for 2017, but Elmore is already in meetings to work out plans for next year's renovations.

"You can renovate something every year," he said.

As for the current projects, the fencing is almost completed and the turf is laid down. The floor work is just beginning at the ARC, and construction will then move onto CRCE.

Elmore said the wiring for the sound system is just now starting to get installed.

"I'm excited but also looking at the clock," Elmore said.

JESSICA BURSZTYNSKY

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