FGCU students paying for new rec center they won't even use
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Florida Gulf Coast University's fitness center is just too cramped for comfort.
It opened in 2002 when just over 5,000 students were enrolled. Now enrollment has almost tripled, and the small workout space just isn't making the cut anymore.
"I don't go to the gym between 9 am-9pm, I don't want anything to do with it. It's too packed, it's too much," Student Body President Juan Cubillo said.
So the university wants to build a new $15 million student recreation center, more than four times the size of the one inside Alico Arena.
But because the State won't bond non-academic projects, things can't move forward.
"We are the only state university in the state of Florida that does not have a recreation center for its students," Dr. Mike Rollo, Vice President of Student Affairs, said.
Students want that new rec center so badly, they're willing to pay for it. They voted to pay an extra $6.76 per credit hour to help fund the project, even if they will never get to see it.
"I think students are okay paying this fee even if it's for the generation after us, as long as it happens," Cubillo said.
They've collected $2.6 million so far, but there's still a long way to go.
"I think what we are frustrated about is that we are paying it and we aren't seeing the bonding to ever see," Cubillo said.
The close gym quarters aren't only a problem from the students, but also athletes, who share the same space.
"It's tough we have so many people to work out in such a small gym so it's frustrating sometimes," junior Tianyu Bao said.
Bao is on the tennis team. He says some of the athletic teams have moved workouts to outside gyms.
"It's ridiculous I guess because we train at school, I don't see the reason we have to go all the way out there but with the current situation that we have this is the best solution we have," Bao said.
But the school knows a new rec center is an even better solution, and won't stop pushing for it.
"We are ready to go full force and advocate and lobby to the state legislature," Cubillo said.