Groundbreaking set for new student center at CCU

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Coastal Carolina is breaking ground on Founders Drive next to the Santee residence hall for its new Student Recreation and Convocation Center on Wednesday, according to CCU spokeswoman Mona L. Prufer.

According to the university, the new facility will provide an improved venue for student recreation, sports events and graduation ceremonies, a 10,000-square-foot bookstore, an indoor track, climbing wall, workout spaces and locker rooms.

CCU President David A. DeCenzo said the long overdue facility is "for our students and for our future. As we move this institution forward, we are looking at building a campus that meets the educational, physical and social needs of our students."

The $25 million to $30 million building will include nearly 128,000 square feet, divided into two areas. The 45,000-square-foot Student Recreation Center will include a 30-foot-high climbing wall, a 1/10th-mile indoor track, large areas for cardio equipment and free weights, as well as three multi-use workout rooms that will be used for fitness classes and for meetings.

"In 2008, the Student Government Association passed legislation to increase student fees in support of a new campus recreation center," said SGA President Dan Jolles. "Since more than half of our current student population participates in recreational and fitness activities, this new complex will greatly enhance student life."

The 77,090-square-foot Convocation Center will provide approximately 3,300 seats for commencement, concerts and shows. It will also be the home of CCU's NCAA Division I men's and women's basketball programs, as well as women's volleyball.

The gymnasium will have retractable seating, which will provide three full-size basketball/volleyball courts with 3,328 seats when open. The hospitality and president's suites, overlooking the gymnasium area, will offer an additional 165 seats for viewing events. Locker facilities for the home team and visiting athletic teams are also included. Office spaces for men's and women's basketball and women's volleyball coaches will be on the second floor.

"The Student Recreation and Convocation Center will dramatically enhance our volleyball and men's and women's basketball programs and provide each with a 'Wow' factor as top-level student-athletes are recruited to Coastal Carolina University," said Hunter Yurachek, director of athletics at CCU. "The center will also provide a venue where the university and surrounding community members will be proud to come together in support of our teams and university events."

The 10,000-square-foot campus bookstore will be on two levels with soft goods on the first floor and textbooks on the second floor.

Offices for the Department of Campus Recreation and Intramurals will be housed in the recreation center, along with locker and changing rooms and a large storage area for outdoor athletic and fitness equipment.

A 5,755-square-foot concourse will divide the two areas and serve as a gathering space before and after events in the convocation center.

The project is out for bid with construction expected to start around May 20, with a completion date of November 2011. Philip Massey is the project manager.

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