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Committee marches forward with SAC II plans
By Scott Lange
Assistant News Editor
The SAC II Planning Committee is nearing the completion of the first phase of planning for the expansion of the Callaway Student Athletic Complex. Planners hope to report their findings in late February or early March.
"I am very optimistic right now that we will have one of the premiere campus recreation and athletic centers in the country when we get done," said Dr. Lee Wilcox, Vice President of Student Affairs and Chair of the SAC II Planning Committee.
SAC is currently suffering from overcrowding during Winter Quarter intramural basketball games and at other peak hours.
"On average, we get about 10,000 [visits] per week," said Butch Stanphill, Director of Campus Recreation. "During Winter Quarter, our projections go up to about 14,000 per week because intramurals come indoors."
"I think that some people do not come because there is no place to play," Stanphill explained. "Last night, we had martial arts groups at both ends of the building and the crew team was up in the hallway. We need more free recreation space, and that is what SAC II will provide."
According to Dr. Wilcox, the planning committee has determined what components should be included in SAC II in order to serve the Georgia Tech community in the best way.
"Essentially, we have been looking at what we want to incorporate in the new facility, how much space do we need, and can we fit it all in the [space next to SAC]. Preliminarily, it looks like we can accommodate our needs for the foreseeable future in the area that could be built."
The largest hurdle facing the project is cost. "I think the total cost could be an issue," said Dr. Wilcox. "If it is in the $15 million to $20 million range, we can probably figure out a way to do that. If it's in the $20 million to $25 million range, we might have to find ourselves scaling back or delaying the project."
While the finance issue is not settled, Wilcox believes it can be overcome. "Facilities like this are usually funded 100% by student fees," explained Dr. Wilcox. "The big new one at UGA was financed exclusively through student fees. We are going to try to keep the student contribution as low as we can."
If the goals that the committee has for the project are realized, students in the year 2000 will have a wide variety of increased recreation options.
"I think with our on-campus population being what it is, students are looking for places to recreate, and right now we are not making that available," said Stanphill. "With SAC II, we will."
As planned by the committee, SAC II will include six new basketball courts and two new racquetball courts. Runners will be able to take advantage of a four-laned, 200 meter track which will be elevated above the new basketball courts.
"We are also hoping to incorporate a 600-space parking deck within the addition, as well as enclosing the bubble pool," Dr. Wilcox said.
"ORGT will benefit greatly," Dr. Wilcox added. "They will have more space, including a climbing wall that will far surpass what we have now."
There will also be much more space for aerobics, martial arts, fitness, and weight training.
Sport clubs that currently have to meet in the hallways will also benefit.
"Additional meeting spaces [will be added] so that clubs can meet in rooms in the building," said Dr. Wilcox.
"We are presenting what we think would be the ideal campus recreation center for Georgia Tech," Dr. Wilcox explained. "When we're done, we will still have a lot of work to do to find a way to fund it, but I am very optimistic that we will be able to do it."
An E-mail account has been established to collect opinions, concerns, and ideas for the renovation and expansion of SAC. The address is email@example.com.
E-mail will be presented to the Planning Committee periodically.
Copyright © 1998 by Gregory S. Scherrer, Editor and by the Student Publications Board
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