MSU should reconsider construction of University Recreation CenterMar 1st, 2010 | By Zach | Category: Editorials, Featured Articles, Opinions
A lot has changed since 2006, when students voted to approve a fee referendum to pay for what was then a renovation of McDonald Arena and which later turned into the soon-to-be-constructed $22.9 million University Recreation Center.
Since that time, the housing market collapsed, the banks went bust, unemployment reached historical levels, and now we’re looking at huge budget shortfalls in higher education.
Missouri’s higher education commissioner warned of potential 15-to-20 percent budget cuts to state universities, possibly leading to university closures, larger class sizes and even elimination of athletic teams.
And yet, we are still chugging along about to build a superfluous facility that the majority of students will probably never use and which will cost untold amounts in the future to properly staff and maintain.
Worse yet, those who actually need it the most – athletic teams – are specifically being barred from using the facility.
The times where we could afford to lounge down the lazy river are over.
Sure, it would be nice to have another pool, an indoor track, a rock climbing wall, more basketball courts, more gym equipment, and, of course, a lazy river.
The good folks in Campus Recreation have done a phenomenal job helping plan and design this project. It looks like a beautiful building with lots of great features.
But not here and not now.
Not in these economic conditions.
This project should be re-evaluated immediately. We should not be stuck constructing a building just because students four years ago voted to approve the project. It might have made sense then, but certainly not now.
Let students vote whether they think this is a good idea going forward given the current economic situation.
Student fees already paid into this project could be diverted to other, more vital projects, or perhaps just held in a fund. When economic conditions and higher education budgets improve, this idea is certainly still worthy of consideration.
Now, though, is not the time.
For the Editorial Board
If you are against construction of the University Recreation Center, join our Facebook group, “MSU Students Against Construction of the University Recreation Center.”