Rec Sports director updates ASM Committee on sports facility renovations

Director of Recreational Sports John Horn updates members of Sustainability Committee on the status of renovations to sports facilities and fields at a meeting Wednesday.

Image By: Drew Gilmore

The director of Recreational Sports presented environmentally focused updates on the Rec Sports Master Plan to members of the Associated Students of Madison Sustainability Committee Wednesday.

The Master Plan is a project currently underway to renovate various athletic facilities on campus. It was approved for partial student funding in a referendum last spring.

Using an environmental impact study before any construction starts, Director of Recreational Sports John Horn said he hopes to use the results as a guide, with a large sustainability influence throughout the Master Plan.

“I can assure you sustainability has been a main theme of this as we moved it forward through the referendum,” Horn said.

The first goal of the four-step plan is to revamp the Near West fields, replacing the grass with non-rubber, organic synthetic turf, according to Horn. Later projects include a renovation of the Natatorium, Southeast Recreational Facility and Near East fields.

Horn said he advocates a plan that uses energy from cardio machines and solar panels to partially power the indoor facilities.

Using the University of Colorado Boulder as a template, Rec Sports is designing a process at the SERF known as “backwashing” using re-filtered water from the pool to the planned ice rink.

The Master Plan includes the addition of green roofs on top of both the SERF and Nat, a place to grow food used in a Wellness Program and cooking classes open to freshmen living in residence halls.

Although a contractor has not yet been chosen for the project, Horn plans for the Master Plan to be completed entirely by 2022.

Sustainability Committee Chair Kyla Kaplan said ASM created the Rec Sports Advising Committee so members can communicate with Rec Sports, giving students an opportunity to help design the new facilities. Three Sustainability Committee members currently sit on the Advising Committee.

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