Aug. 25, 2011

State Gym opening delayed; student fees will be partially credited

by Annette Hacker, News Service

Due to an unexpected delay in the delivery of construction materials, the remodeled State Gym and its 94,000 square-foot addition will not open until spring semester 2012, prompting university officials to credit a portion of student fees this semester.

"Since students won't be able to access State Gym this fall, it's only right to return their fees to the previous level," said vice president for business and finance Warren Madden.

Madden said full-time students will receive an $89.95 credit on their U-Bills by the end of September, pending approval by the state Board of Regents. That's the increase students began paying based on a fall 2011 opening of remodeled and expanded recreation facilities on campus. Part-time students this fall will receive a prorated credit. Students who were assessed the fee this summer also will receive a credit.

Change in construction material

State Gym was scheduled to reopen in October. However, the contractor has been unable to obtain enough coil zinc needed to manufacture the building's metal wall panels, said Dean McCormick, director of design and construction services for facilities planning and management.

"These panels need to be fully in place to enclose the building and allow for installation of the environmental controls, wood floors and other finish materials," McCormick said. "After reviewing alternatives with the project architect (RDG Planning & Design), we believe the best option is to move forward with aluminum panels.

"This change will push back our opening for State Gym, but we'd rather ensure that the job is completed to our quality standards than rush to a temporary solution or a partial opening. We want to make sure these state-of-the-art facilities are ready for students in the spring."

Madden said opening this spring, crediting a portion of student fees this fall and changing the wall panel material won't affect the overall project budget.

The Lied center, Beyer Hall and the Forker Building remain open for recreational activities, said vice president for student affairs Tom Hill.

"And all of the programs offered by recreation services, including intramurals, group fitness, personal training, trips and workshops are still available to our students and the ISU community," Hill added.

Semester option for faculty and staff

Iowa State faculty, staff and affiliates who opt to work out at Lied Rec may purchase a fall semester pass. Due to the construction delay at State Gym, no annual passes will be sold at this time.

Student fees are funding Iowa State's $46.2 million recreation renovation and expansion. In addition to the remodeled and expanded State Gym, the project includes improvements and controlled entrances to Beyer Hall, and reflects recreation services' transition to a self-supported enterprise.