Cal State L.B. Students Reject $13-Million Sports Center Plan

After weeks of heated campaigning and three days of heavy voter turnout, Cal State Long Beach students decided by an almost 2-1 margin not to build a $13-million fitness and multipurpose center with student funds.

If the proposed 65,000-square-foot campus sports complex had been approved, student body fees would have been increased from $18 to $43 per semester to finance construction, said Michael Long, student body president.

Of the 4,525 voters, 1,632 (36%) favored construction of the sports complex, while 2,893 (64%) opposed it. An estimated 33,000 students attend Cal State Long Beach, and about 14% showed up at the polls last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

"That's great voter turnout for us, nearly twice the number of voters we usually get," Long said. General elections for student body officers only attract an estimated 8% of the voters, he said.

According to Long, the main complaint about the proposed center--which would have included a 6,500-seat basketball arena, six racquetball courts, a weight room and fitness center--was the fee increase.

"They (students) also objected that we didn't need a facility like that and that the money could go other places, like education or academics," Long said. "On the other hand, we don't have a facility on campus that can seat that many people. I'm disappointed; I thought it was a really good idea."

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