President von Arx, S.J., Takes RecPlex Renovation Tour
Last week, University President Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., toured the RecPlex renovation project that is 80 percent complete and on schedule to open this coming fall.
“It’s really quite extraordinary to see the transformation in what had been a fairly nondescript building previously,” Fr. von Arx said, wearing a red hardhat. “It’s going to be a great new facility.”
David Frassinelli, associate vice president of Facilities Management, led the tour and with over 90 tradesmen on site. The Recplex was a hive of construction activity — dry wall was going up, ducts were being fitted, fresh paint glistened on ceiling joists and new wiring was snaked from high scaffolds.
Once complete, the new and improved RecPlex will include a spacious and light-filled entryway, modern seating areas, strength training suites with all the latest equipment and upgraded Birkenstock Field House with interchangeable basketball, tennis and volleyball courts. Additionally, there will be a cardio training suite, an elevated indoor track, improved infrastructure on the twenty-five-meter pool, renovated locker rooms and new group fitness areas for yoga, pilates, bar method and more.
Frassinelli said that the project is on schedule and among the many improvements to the building that there is also an entirely new roof, a gender-neutral bathroom and a designated spinning room.
The new, dramatic upper-level mezzanine for cardio equipment is flanked with windows and overlooks Loyola Boulevard, the road from the University’s main entrance.
“Recplex members can look forward to working out on brand new cardio equipment and selectorized (strength building) machines, in addition to an increase in group training (Fairfield FIT) classes throughout the day,” said Karen Donoghue, associate vice president for Student Affairs and dean of Students, who was also on the tour and has been a part of the Recplex renovation planning.
Funding for the RecPlex project comes predominantly from alumni, parents and friends of the institution.
A challenge gift of $10 million from University Trustee John C. Meditz '70, $5 million from an anonymous donor and another $1 million from Mark Beckwith '80 and family, and several additional gifts, helped to jump-start the RecPlex renovation. But, there is still funding needed to complete the project for its expected opening.