U of G to Upgrade Athletics Centre
January 22, 2014 - News Release
The University of Guelph’s Board of Governors today approved moving forward with the expansion and renovation of the Mitchell Athletics Centre into a state-of-the-art fitness and recreation complex.
B of G approved spending up to $45.4 million on Phase 1, which includes architectural designs and renovation/building costs.
The fitness and recreation complex will be funded through student contributions pledged in a 2010 student referendum. Gryphon Athletics fundraising campaign for Phase 2 is still ongoing.
“This isn’t just about new facilities,” said President Alastair Summerlee. “It will position Guelph as a competitive leader in university athletics and community health and well-being.”
Summerlee said the new facility will increase capacity and opportunities for wellness at U of G and in the greater community, putting Guelph and Gryphon Athletics on the map as a centre of excellence in active living.
Tom Kendall, U of G director of athletics, added: “Our goal is to have one of the best outdoor and indoor athletics facilities in Canada to complement our leadership position in sports and recreation and to build a sense of community and connection.”
Guelph’s current indoor recreation facilities are aging, limited in size and over capacity, Kendall said. It’s hampering our ability to meet student demand as well as our competitiveness with peer institutions, as many have overhauled their athletic facilities. “A renovation is long overdue.”
With the new centre, there will be larger and better facilities to serve as gathering places for campus and community members, more diverse fitness offerings, and more intramural and varsity opportunities for U of G students, Kendall said.
It will also help attract new coaches, athletes and leaders and will be a draw for athletic events and conferences. It will also increase access for young people in the community through camps and events and will expose future university students to the U of G campus, he said.
The new fitness facilities are part of the Athletics Master Plan developed in 2010. Also included in the plan are the recent renovations to Alumni Stadium, including a new artificial turf field and an eight-lane International Association of Athletic Federation-certified track, both of which were funded by private donations.
As well, the Gryphon Field House opened in 2012 and features a200metre indoor track and a synthetic turf infield. This addition has provided critical space for intramural programming as well as large university events such as convocation. .
U of G also recently created a new outdoor complex, complete with two artificial turf Soccer fields with lights; a natural turf rugby field and a synthetic turf practice half-field. These projects were funded by the 2010 student referendum.
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