by Kelsey Rowlson
The Pavilion may get a face-lift and an addition if Whatcom Community College’s ASWCC plan comes to fruition.
The proposed student recreation building would hook onto the Pavilion on the side closest to the Laidlaw Center. The structure would stand two stories high and allow more natural light into the building, which is currently dimly lit. The second story would feature an inside track much like the one in Western Washington University’s Wade King Recreation Center.
The design of the building isn’t firm, but the proposed design splits the first floor of the oval shaped addition into thirds; lounge, workout facility, and activity rooms. Baier says this design also allows for more storage space, something that the Pavilion lacks. The building would also include “top notch, state-of-the-art workout equipment and facilities.”
Isaac Shantz-Kreutzkamp, ASWCC president, cautions that this is the “pre-pre design of the project,” adding that “actual renovations won’t be for another few years.”
So how much will this cost?
Ten million dollars is the preliminary estimate, but Baier adds, “We know it’s going to be a multi-million dollar project, not tens of millions.” Neither the ASWCC or the college possess $10 million of expendable cash for the proposed student recreation building, so the ASWCC has proposed paying for the building through a bond where they would pay X amount over a certain number of years.
The building won’t cost students a dime though. Bair says that the building can be produced without additional fees for students, unlike Everett College and Pierce College which tacked fees onto tuition in order to fund similar buildings.
Before the building process even begins, students will get a chance to voice their opinions. “It’s important to get feedback as soon as possible,” said Baier. If the building gets student approval, the planning process will move on throughout the next few years, taking breaks in the summer in order to ensure the building is still backed by students. “This is an issue that’s been talked about for the last 10 years,” says Baier, so the ASWCC wants to make sure students are involved every step of the way and agree with decisions regarding the building.
And what do Whatcom students think?
Emmanuel Carrillo, 19 says, “I’m sure that future students would appreciate a new building, but I’m not sure I would totally support it if the noise or anything else could distract me during class or when I’m trying to study at Whatcom.”
Megan Sutton, 19, is in support of the proposed building. “I think it’s a really good idea, she said. “Whatcom seems to have a lot in the way of arts related venues, so I don’t see why it would be a bad thing. Having more room for students to move is a really good thing anyway.”
Jessica Henson, 16 and an incoming freshman says, “I believe that this would be a welcome addition to the facilities at Whatcom. It would be different at say a high school where they complain about how few books they have for students and then go out and purchase new football player uniforms.”
Daelynn Brown, 19, says, “I’m fine with it. I won’t be there to enjoy it though because I’ll be done with my degree, so that’s a bummer,” Brown added “I guess all I have to say is that if that’s what they think is best then do it. But I don’t even know a lot of people who use the gym that we already have so I don’t know why we necessarily need another one.”
If you are interested in finding out more about the proposed Student Recreation building, Isaac says that the ASWCC plans to host a few information meetings and that they will work to get those meeting dates out to students.
Will the increased focus on athleticism lead to restoring previously cut sports at Whatcom? Shantz-Kreutzkamp and Baier say that won’t be the case. Shantz-Kreutzkamp explained that there are two budgets, a capital projects budget, used for the construction of buildings, which is managed by the student government and the Board of Trustees.
The other is the Services and Activities budget. The administration of the college removed funding from this budget for some sports at Whatcom, so the student government then allocated some funds so that students could still participate in basketball, soccer, and volleyball. The allocated funds pay for uniforms, officiating fees, coaches’ salaries, and other related costs that help support those athletic teams.