Construction on multi-sport facility at U of W to begin next year

Student fees, involvement top concerns for kinesiology majors

A drawing of the soccer field house and wellness centre the University of Winnipeg plans to build on campus starting next year. Supplied

The University of Winnipeg plans to build a new soccer field house and wellness centre for its expanding athletics and kinesiology programs.

Designed to be used as a multi-sport facility for Wesmen sports and student-intramural sports, the new project will include a full regulation-size soccer field.

In addition to being used for sports, it will be used as a teaching facility by the faculty of kinesiology, and will include the U of W’s first on-campus parkade.

The Wellness Centre will be fully equipped with doctors, as well as athletic and massage therapists.

The centre will be connected to the Duckworth Centre building and the Bill Wedlake Fitness Centre on Spence Street.

With such a huge project, the expected cost is currently estimated at $31.5 million.

Last year, the City of Winnipeg invested $2 million in the project, and now the province has provided a $15 million capital investment towards the $31.5 million cost.

Additionally, students will be required to pay an extra $60 in fees every year to help pay for the facility.

Kelsey Dewis, a kinesiology student and personal trainer at BOOM BodyShaping Studio, believes the new facility will benefit the inner city and the U of W overall. However, she’s worried about the $60 mandatory student fee.

“As a kinesiology student, I am excited by the prospects of this new facility,” she said. “But student fees are a heavy burden to carry as tuition and other costs continue to rise, and I can see how it’s tough for students from all faculties to shoulder these costs.”

Fifth-year kinesiology student Erika Andrekowich also has mixed feelings about the new facility.

Andrekowich hopes that the head therapists in the U of W clinic will be asked for their input on how to structure and operate the field house.

“I think we need new facilities, and I think it’s good that they’re trying to address the parking problem,” she said. “But, I think the success of it will depend on the input of the people who are involved in its daily operations. Their input is very important.”

Wesmen athletic director Doran Reid said they are taking into consideration the input they have received from U of W faculty, staff and students. He thinks it is an important development at the U of W, and is looking forward to when the project is completed.

“It’s one more piece to make us a vibrant campus,” he said.

Reid said that he anticipates the project to be completed in about two years, with construction starting in 2012.

Published in Volume 66, Number 7 of The Uniter (October 12, 2011)

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