Current Facilities Projects
Health, Fitness & Recreation Center
Moraine Valley’s Health, Fitness & Recreation Center is now under construction with an anticipated opening date of Spring 2014.
Another component of the project was put in place on February 20, 2013, when the college’s Board of Trustees approved Centers LLC to manage the new fitness center portion of the facility. Centers LLC operates several university and college recreation/fitness center facilities across the country, including the Ray Meyer Recreation Center at DePaul University in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. “They will bring sophistication to the building and can deal more readily with the technical details,” said Andy Duren, executive vice president of Administrative Services.
The first phase of construction began in mid-December 2012 and was completed in January 2013 when roughly 1,012 pilings (what look like telephone poles) were drilled into the ground on the site of the game soccer field on the west side of campus. Concrete work for the foundation and the four-lane lap pool is completed. Installation of the precast walls and the steel structure started in April. The practice soccer fields, west of both Building P and the softball diamond, are being transformed into the game soccer field. The old driving range across 88th Avenue is being transformed into the soccer practice fields, which also will be ready by fall 2013.
Moraine Valley’s current gym and health fitness center, the first permanent building, was built in the early 1970s. “Our gym rivals any eighth-grade gym. The time has come. Other community colleges in the state have better fitness facilities than we do. It’s been in the master plans since 1986 and should have been done a long time ago,” Duren said. “It’s for all of us at the college, but really it’s for the students.”
For a year, the college worked on the estimated $35 million project. Prior to any final plans, a group toured other college fitness/recreation centers, including DePaul University, Loyola University, Prairie State College, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. College officials talked to community members, students and staff, and in January 2012, 200 households within a 15-minute drive to campus were surveyed. Also, three forums for students (where about 100 participated) and one for employees were held, all of which yielded support for the development. These surveys gauged what people thought of a larger, more extensive wellness center to “move the college forward and make Moraine Valley an even better institution,” said Dr. Sylvia M. Jenkins, college president.
Plans for the 113,360 square-foot center also include three full-size basketball courts, seating for 3,500 at graduation, group exercise studios, an athletic training room, a jogging track, café, and locker facilities. A new walkway would connect the building to the rest of campus, as well. The second floor will be reinforced for potential expansion of the fitness center in the future, Duren said. The design work was completed by Demonica Kemper Architects.
Funding for the project will come from partnerships, the construction/infrastructure fee of $8 per credit hour from students, membership fees and donations.