Aug 22, 2008 - David Lawlor
Students in the dance studio can peer out a bank of expansive windows to a redwood forest; students, staff and faculty can swim laps in an airy, light-filled space; and local sports fans can yell themselves silly from their stadium-style seat in the expanded gymnasium.
The start of the fall semester marks the opening of the University’s new $44.5 million Kinesiology and Athletics Complex. The complex houses a gymnasium, pool, classrooms, offices, labs and other support spaces, replacing outdated facilities at the Forbes Physical Education Complex. While HSU’s scholar athletes are enjoying the enhanced features the new facility offers, students, faculty, staff and members of the extended HSU community are also reaping significant benefits: students are attending courses in improved classrooms; staff members have greater access to resources; and Jacks fans will cheer on their team in the spacious and comfortable 17,655 square-foot gymnasium that can hold as many as 2,000 supporters of the green and gold.
An improved Biomechanics Lab replaces a cramped facility in Forbes Complex and both the Human Performance Lab and Behavioral Performance Lab are housed in the new building. The complex’s pool features extra depth for SCUBA classes offered by the Physical Education Department and students in the department’s fencing class practice in the bright, spacious new dance studio. Kinesiology, Recreation Administration and Dance classes are making use of improved learning spaces and modern locker rooms augment the overall experience for HSU’s student-athletes. The Employee Wellness Program, North Coast Concussion Program and other research projects are all housed in the facility.
“I think that this is a wonderful opportunity for the Kinesiology and Recreation Administration program to take a huge jump forward,” said Traci Ferdolage, project manager for construction and Kinesiology and Recreation Administration alum. “The improvements in the facilities and the lab space that has been made is just phenomenal for the students.”
The complex—designed by Portland, Ore.-based Yost Grube Hall Architecture—was built to LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver standards, utilizing green design elements and materials. While the majority of construction is complete, an outdoor plaza area and associated landscaping will be installed in spring 2009 at which time an official grand opening is planned, said Tim Moxon, director of HSU’s Plant Operations. Once finished, the new complex will also offer improved wheelchair access and increased connectivity between all of the athletic facilities including the Student Recreation Center, Forbes Complex and Redwood Bowl.
As part of the project, the old natatorium at Forbes Complex was demolished during the summer, but both the East and West Gyms remain. Renovations at Forbes Complex are under discussion, but definitive plans have yet to be established, said Ferdolage.