The Facilities Fee Advisory Committee had a meeting concerning how the money generated from the facilities fee will be used to renovate a non-academic space for students on campus Thursday morning.
Every student on campus is required to pay a $100 facilities fee per semester to accommodate improvements and expansions to non-academic, recreational and multi-use spaces for students.
In the meeting, Vice President of Student Affairs Damon Sims said in 2008, the Board of Trustees approved the facilities fee and since then, it has generated nearly $8 million a year.
“The facilities fee has provided wonderful support for smaller projects on campus,” Sims said.
The committee proposed several projects for where the $30 million raised could be spent.
The first idea made by the committee was to expand the McCoy Natatorium for the expense of $65 million using both the facilities fee revenue as well as $35 million from athletics.
Plans were proposed to add an additional building, a walkway to connect the two buildings and renovations to reduce the volume of air to make the building more energy efficient.
The renovations would also add 17,325 square feet of surface water to the existing 9,240 square foot.
The committee discussed using the $65 million for the expansion of the natatorium combined with renovations to the indoor tennis complex of the Tennis Center.
UPUA President Courtney Lennartz and UPUA Chair of Internal Development Dray Krishnan said the funds will not go toward the renovations of the Tennis Complex.
“Once the indoor tennis complex was taken off the table by the athletics department, I was hesitant to support the funding all together,” Krishnan(sophomore-accounting and economics) said. “I think that the expectation by certain members of the Board for the students to pledge the same amount that at one point covered two developments and now only funds the natatorium is unfair to the student body.”
Some committee members said they were confident the renovations to the natatorium would help continue to grow the aquatics club that serves elementary through collegiate students while producing more revenue that would cover the cost of lifeguards and other expenses.
Lennartz (senior-health policy and administration) said in the meeting that she was concerned the growth of the aquatics club would interfere with the amount of time students would have to use the facilities.
“Students are concerned with the lack of time available to swim because of the aquatics club that operates in the facility as of now,” Lennartz said.
Other alternative proposals that were made included expansions to the Intramural Building or the HUB-Robeson Center.
The Intramural Building renovations would include the addition of three more gymnasiums, an expansion to the fitness area, an extension to the one-tenth mile track, a rock-climbing wall, a multi-activity court, a circulation of walkways to gyms and renovations to the basement locker rooms.
HUB renovations would include enclosing the courtyard, growing the bookstore, adding more meeting rooms and offices, expanding seating in the main level, adding a mezzanine in the bookstore, a convenience store, a computer store and a coffee shop, as well as an office to house volunteers with the Interfraternity Council/ Panhellenic Dance Marathon.
A final decision could not be reached for where the commission would like to see the money go and will instead be decided after further evaluation from the committee.
“I am uncomfortable with the use of funds in the way envisioned by the board,” Krishnan said. “I would like to see more projects that use the funds that are available to us at the beginning of each year instead of using the funds to pay off a pledged deficit.”
Once the commission makes their decision, the Board of Trustees will ultimately approve the major project proposed.