Silver City, NM – Western New Mexico University will soon begin a complete overhaul of the recreational facilities located around Old James Stadium, including the repair and redesign of the university swimming pool. At the most recent Board of Regents meeting, a resolution was passed to seek $4 million in outside funding with a student fee being used to pay back the debt.
The new facilities will promote activities for students and community members, confirming the university’s commitment to both the physical and mental well being of the people it impacts.
“It is amazing to know that soon our students will benefit from an extraordinary project with the addition of this new recreation center,” commented Student Body President Edna Reyes. “It is time to offer our students a great quality experience on campus through more choices. I know it will be a great addition to this campus.”
The proposed blueprint shows a running track beneath the bleachers and around the border of Old James Stadium, as well as a basketball court and a sand volleyball court. Within the Brancheau PE Complex, over 10,000 square feet of the existing facility will be renovated to include two 25-meter swimming lanes in addition to a large shallow swimming area for programs such as aqua aerobics. The reduction in size of the existing pool will make way for a state-of-the-art fitness and weight room and an improved changing room, locker facility.
“Since I came to Silver City, reviving the swimming pool has been a priority because I believe it will continue to enhance our students and our communities quality of life,” said President Joseph Shepard. “Further, the recreation complex will allow us to more effectively recruit and retain students, since studies indicate that if students form relationships among their peers they are more likely to persist and earn degrees. Facilities such as the recreation center provide opportunities for developing these relationships,” Shepard added.
Recently, President Shepard met with several internal university departments to brainstorm the various program criteria that will be housed and operated within the new facility. Students, faculty and staff will be provided free membership of the facilities while a membership fee will be established for community members.
Originally constructed in 1979, the Brancheau PE Complex was named after former Mustang coach Tim Brancheau. After more than 30 years, an imbalance in chemical stability paired with excessive water loss led to the closure of the pool facility within the complex some three years ago. Updated mechanical and electrical code compliant systems will insure the new pool facility will not run into similar problems.
Renovations will begin once overall cost estimates are finalized and bonds are issued. Projections on the duration of the project are slated for Spring 2015.
For more information about the renovation, contact Director of Facilities and Maintenance Stan Pena at Stan.Pena@wnmu.edu or 575-538-6715.