UH-Hilo launches work on fitness site
HILO » The University of Hawaii at Hilo has broken ground for a $14.3 million fitness center that will open in early 2008 for students and possibly the public.
The Student Life and Events Center will feature an outdoor Olympic-size swimming pool, a pool-side juice bar and fitness areas for aerobics, weight training and martial arts. It will also have showers and classrooms.
The 22,600-square-foot fitness center will expand recreation activities for the 3,500-student campus and give the university an upgrade from its aging athletic complex. Officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday.
"This is an important day for the University of Hawaii at Hilo," said Chancellor Rose Tseng. "Since I've been here, this has been our No. 1 project."
Tseng thanked students for their willingness to pay higher activity fees to help finance the project, which has been in the works for nearly a decade. "That's difficult," she said. "These students are not rich."
Additional money for the fitness center came from the state budget.
Nonstudents will likely be allowed to use the new fitness center by paying a user fee, but details of public use have not been decided, Tseng said. A student advisory board will be responsible for those decisions.
"This building is a reflection of excellence, dedication and vision," said Kainoa Kaumeheiwa-Rego, president of the school's Student Association.