Rec Sports director encourages student involvement in Master Plan

John Horn, the Director of Recreational Sports, gave an update on the progress of the Rec Sports Master Plan, a student-supported plan passed through an Associated Students of Madison referendum, at a Student Council meeting Wednesday.

The Master Plan focuses on the Near West Fields, Southeast Recreational Facility, Natatorium and Near East Fields renovation. Last spring, students passed the Rec Sports Master Plan through an ASM referendum. Horn said out of the 14,000 students that voted, more than 12,000 supported the plan.

The Master Plan will be implemented in two phases. The funding for the Near West Fields in the first phase is established, but the architect and engineer have not been finalized, Horn said.

“What we want to be able to do is provide students with the first space of this Master Plan to be used as soon as possible,” Horn said. “We are ready to go, we’re excited. We can’t wait to share this with students.”

Horn said he expects to present the plans for the SERF to the Board of Regents in December. According to Horn, the facility outlived its usefulness after consistent use by 83 percent of the student body.

“It was not built to have 850,000 uses per year. It was built for about half of that. We’re operating on about 200 percent of its capacity,” Horn said.

Horn said he anticipates a long process for the creation of the SERF, with two years to design and two years to construct.

One of the large focuses in the Master Plan is sustainability. Horn said the division wants to make sure regardless of design to receive a Silver Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certification, a certification that focuses on sustainable building efforts.

The implementation process will involve environmental impact tests and recycled demolition materials. Horn believes the Near West Fields will have a larger focus on sustainability concerns than design.

Horn said he hopes to have student involvement throughout the implementation of the plan especially through the ASM committee.

“I think that students, when they get motivated about something, they consider it a priority and they get a lot of things done,” Horn said.

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