Physical Education Center Renovations
By Brian Kleemann
College of DuPage will begin extensive renovations on the Physical Education Center this summer, including construction of a one-story addition, to create a multi-use educational and recreational environment.
“While adequately maintained, the Physical Education Center has remained virtually unchanged since its construction nearly three decades ago in 1983,” said John Wandolowski, director of Facilities at College of DuPage. “The new design will re-align academic and fitness applications throughout the building.”
Approximately 83,000 square feet of the existing 130,000 square feet will be renovated, he said. The new 14,000 square-foot Varsity Athletic addition on the south side of the center will house facilities for the student athletes, including men’s and women’s locker rooms, a strength lab and a training room. A hallway space with COD sporting displays will include a skylight, giving the space an open-air feel. All team members will pass through the hallway on their way to the playing fields or the arena.
“We’re excited about the new addition,” said Paul Zakowski, director of Athletics. “This gives our athletes better access to the areas they use, while the community and students will have improved access to the facilities they use.”
Entry confusion into the Physical Education Center has been major concern, as the south door is accessed through a tunnel-like path adjacent to the fitness lab, Wandolowski said. For greater accessibility and safety, the south entrance will be overhauled into a more visible and vibrant main entrance that will include a lobby, concession area, entrance into the arena and open stairway to the second level. A new hallway configuration will move people more effectively throughout the building.
Due to increased popularity, the current Fitness Lab has outgrown its space, Wandolowski said. Renovations will convert portions of the second-floor plaza into a new Fitness Lab – including a stretching area, spinning room and cardiovascular/fitness room – and will repurpose the under-utilized racquetball courts for group fitness programs. The existing locker rooms on the first floor of the center also will be updated for community and student use.
Other renovations include eliminating the diving well and reconfiguring the lap pool into a competitive swimming space, upgrading the HVAC system, updating the exterior glass and frames for energy savings, and replacing scoreboards and the running track in the arena.
In early August, the Fitness Lab will move to the Open Campus Center, where it will be available for use during construction. The Physical Education Center renovation project should be completed in late winter/early spring 2014.
“The renovations are both complex and creative, dramatically changing the center into a space that athletes, students and community members will enjoy using for many years,” Wandolowski said.
The project will cost $24 million and is funded by the $168 million referendum that voters of District 502 passed in November 2010. Other projects beginning this year include the renovation of the McAninch Arts Center, Student Resource Center and Seaton Computing Center, and construction of the Campus Maintenance Center.
2014 College of DuPage