December 5, 2023


Big changes are coming to Conestoga College’s rec centre.
At a College Council meeting on Sept. 16, Conestoga Students Inc. president Jason Wright talked about four different proposals regarding the centre that focus on renovating the entire building or tearing it down and rebuilding it. They also include the expansion and possible removal of existing facilities.
“The rec centre was built basically for 2,500 students back in 1980 and now we are at over 11,000 students and there is not a lot of free time in the gym for students who all pay athletics fees,” said Paul Osborne, executive director of marketing, corporate communication, athletics and alumni.
The proposals are still in the discussion stage. Over the next few weeks, meetings between CSI and college executives will be held to discuss all suggestions. The four proposals were written after CSI conducted a survey of the student body last year. The proposals were created by Conestoga architecture project and facility management students using the survey results and were the students’ final project in the 2013/2013 school year.
“By increasing our facilities we hope that we can have one gym free at all times for drop-in while still being able to offer enough time for varsity practice, varsity games and intramurals,” Osborne said.
Wright said in an e-mail, “The No. 1 thing we want to see is a larger fitness area for the students. As well, we’d like to have a triple gym instead of the current double gym. This would allow us to section off the gym for students to use while our varsity teams have practice or games.”
It is currently unclear if an expansion would be included in any renovations, however, if the rec centre was expanded it is a possibility that a sports field would have to be removed in order to create an appropriate site for the building, Osborne said.
Wright said, “We have seen some proposals that say leave the site unchanged, and then we have seen some that say to expand the site out a little bit.”
“We are very open to working with the college and making sure that the building will suit the needs of not only the students but the college as well in the long term.”
The proposals also include making physiotherapy accessible to the general student body instead of having it exclusively for the varsity teams. Whether this means a physiotherapist will be on campus for a majority of school hours or just certain days of the week has yet to be determined. It is also unsure whether he or she would be located within the rec centre or in the wellness centre located in the main building.
“We would also like to see our health and wellness office moved into the rec centre,” Wright said. “That way we are promoting a healthier lifestyle for people and allowing them to take care of themselves.”
The college is currently exploring all options for the rec centre, including the repurposing of existing facilities.
“With any construction you look at the possibility of just adding onto existing buildings,” Osborne said. “There’s also the chance to repurpose a building.”
At the College Council meeting members were told a tentative completion date has been set for September 2015 and that it is unlikely any rec centre changes will be made during the 2013/2014 school year. College Council is a group of staff and students who provide advice to the president on matters of importance.
“If we were in construction … we would keep the current gym open. It would stay open so we could facilitate all of our academic classes,” Osborne said.