Exclusive: Inside the new Missouri State Recreation Center

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- It's been a long time coming, but the new Missouri State University Recreation Center is ready to open. KY3 got an exclusive sneak peak inside the facility.

"As people come into this building, the thing I hear time after time is 'Wow.'" said MSU V.P. of Student Affairs  Earle Doman.

It was nearly a year behind schedule. "People kept saying, 'why is it taking so long?' It's because the building is very, very complicated," said Missouri State University Campus Recreation Director Cynthia Barnett.

The Bill R. Foster and Family Recreation Center at Missouri State University is finally ready.

"It's been a long process," said Dr. Doman, "but it has been a student driven project from day one."

For the past few years, students, architects and faculty traveled to schools and facilities across the country to see what works and what doesn't.

"Students will pay $80 a semester to participate in the facility," Dr. Doman said. "All the faculty and staff will pay the same amount and have total access."

The state of the art facility has all the basics--basketball courts, weights and machines, studios for dancing and fitness classes.

"Most of the bells and whistles we wanted, we have in this building," said Dr. Doman.

It also has some unique features.  At nearly 26 feet tall, Missouri State has its first permanent rock climbing wall inside the building. Even the rock itself is meant to mimic rock in the Ozarks.

Another pride and joy of the facility is the pool. Fountains, whirlpool's, and even a zip line to jump into the water are a part of the pool.

It's not just about the amenities, Dr. Doman told KY3, but what the building can bring to the campus.  

"One of the best things that we will have is we've had a lot of different programs but they've been scattered all around campus. Where do I go for this? We have a central place now for this to occur."

The grand opening ceremony is on the first day of class, August 20 at 3pm. The Rec Center will hold events throughout that week to celebrate the new building.

The recreation center will employ nearly 200 students.


Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times