New UNM wellness center pitched to students

Posted at: 11/12/2013 6:19 PM
By: Jorge Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The Johnson Center, where students go to exercise and relax after a hard day of classes at UNM, doesn't meet the necessities of what a rec center should provide, according to students like Beverly Apodaca.

"A lot of people don't use Johnson Center. I go to an outside gym and I still pay my fees. I'd rather pay my fees for something else and utilize it," she said.

That's exactly what some want to happen in a few years.

Information about a possible new wellness center was displayed at the Student Union today.

"This is one of the first things that major universities tout. They show the rec center. They show the wellness center," said Robert Doran, the UNM Architect.

Students were given stickers to vote on the amenities they would like to see if a new wellness center is built.

Some of the amenities include a weight training facility, indoor running track, a martial arts studio, and what seems to be the most popular choice: a leisure pool.

It would model the pools from Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Missouri.

Some of the amenities are pricey, with the pool alone going for nearly $9 million, but students like Isaiah Perry don't seem to mind.

"It's for the benefit of everybody, so I'm fine with it," he said.

The estimated budget for this project will be anywhere between $58 million to $71 million. It will primarily be funded by student fees.

There is no set date as to when the finalized concept of the wellness center will be shown to the regents board, but if approved before the fall of next year, the wellness center would open in the fall of 2018.