A view of the expanded ETSU intramural complex (Ron Campbell/Johnson CIty Press).
East Tennessee State University officials are pumped up about the freshly completed additions to the Wayne G. Basler Center for Physical Activity and nearby recreation fields.
“We’re really excited about the expansion of this facility,” ETSU Vice President for Student Affairs Joe Sherlin said Friday before a tour of the $7 million addition. “This project has been about three years in the making, and was very much supported by our student government.”
The project added 20,000 feet of floor space to the current CPA building, including new yoga and martial arts rooms and a multi-use court for basketball, indoor soccer and volleyball, making space for new weight training equipment and a dedicated stationary cycling studio.
It also brought a new field house to the ETSU Recreation Field Complex, south of the campus at the corner of Ashley Road and Seminole Drive, as well as a multisport synthetic turf field and a neighboring natural grass field.
Sherlin said the money for the construction was already available in the university’s student service facility construction fund, but a $6 increase in student fees was approved last year to help fund ongoing operations.
The additional space should help ETSU meet the increased demand for exercise facilities from its students and staff, he said.
“It’s grown in terms of usage, basically it’s doubled over the last 10 years,” Sherlin said. “And we expect that to continue over the next several years. This will give us the capacity to meet that demand.”
The new field complex provides facilities for softball, flag football and soccer, giving students the room needed for the tripled demand for intramural sports.
“It’s an effort to increase wellness across the campus among our faculty, staff and students,” Sherlin said. “The CPA has numerous physical education programs, and it’s an opportunity for the entire campus to engage in healthy activity.”
The 100,000-square-foot CPA opened on the ETSU campus in 2002.