May 27, 2023
Sarah Jane O'Keefe -- Building crews continue working on the new Student recreation Center after the construction was slowed to add additional state-of-the-art workout features to the facility.
Sarah Jane O’Keefe — Building crews continue working on the new Student recreation Center after the construction was slowed to add additional state-of-the-art workout features to the facility.

Construction on the Student Recreational Center is about one month behind schedule but will be ready for an official inspection by late November.

Work slowed as the center’s plans morphed to allow for more features. Original blueprints only allowed for one basketball and volleyball court. However, California Baptist University administration decided that was not sufficient after talks with students.

“We’d rather wait a few months and do it right, rather than just rush into it and not have a big enough or nice enough space for our students to really enjoy (the facility),” said Chris Hofschroer, director of Community Life.

The added courts required CBU to negotiate with Lancer Plaza businesses such as Harbor Freight Tools to gain the additional space, resulting in the delay of the original October deadline. Once talks were complete, construction continued with the new plans.

Upon completion, though, the facility will be state-of-the-art. No expenses are being spared during construction, Hofschroer said.

“We don’t care about being Biola University. We don’t care about being Azusa Pacific University. We don’t compare ourselves to Point Loma Nazarene University or any of those other schools. We’re about being Lancers. That means for us to be cutting edge and innovative,” Hofschroer said.

“What none of the other decent schools have is a state-of-the-art recreational center, and that’s big. That’s a big recruitment tool. Hopefully, our students leave here adequately prepared academically, physically, socially and spiritually.”

Among the new facility’s three floors, students can expect locker rooms, free weights, a rock wall, group activity rooms for classes, such as spin, racquetball courts and more. To maximize space, even the roof is set to have a turf field surrounded by a track. All activities within the facility are currently expected to be free of charge, Hofschroer said.

“We want people to come over and find a group or class that they’re really into and that they really like,” Hofschroer said. “Hopefully they fall in love with racquetball or basketball or rock climbing, and they get that fitness activity in everyday.”

The center is intended to not only inspire individuals to exercise nebut also foster healthy choices in other areas of life, Hofschroer said.

“When they go over to the cafeteria, Brisco’s Café or Wanda’s Place, (I hope) they think about the drips of sweat they just poured out on that treadmill before they grab that extra slice of pizza,” Hofschroer said.

“We want to make sure the recreational center is also partnering up with the Wellness Center, the Counseling Center and our food services to make sure that the whole student is actually cared for and making healthy choices.”

The new student recreational center will require plenty of leadership to run properly, Hofschroer said.

First, a facility director will be hired. That person will then recruit an assistant director and fitness coordinator. Students can also look to get involved behind the scenes by helping staff the front desk, swipe I.D. cards or teach a class after being certified.

“We will need a small student army to help run this facility,” Hofschroer said. While the building’s key purpose is to serve all CBU students, the Department of Kinesiology is expected to grow as a result, Hofschroer said. Capitalizing on nonpeak hours in the facility, students can expect to see new courses created and research grow outside the center’s completion.

An unofficial opening is being anticipated prior to Christmas holidays with a grand opening to follow in the spring, Hofschroer said.

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