Funded by a $57.50 per year student fee increase, the Carmichael Complex will soon begin constructing in accordance with its 25-year Recreational Sports Master Plan, which will include modernizing the building’s exterior, opening the interior and adding a new three-story story rock wall.
According to a team of NC State strategic planners and architects, these fee hikes are a necessary step to raise the overall quality of the complex over the next 25 years.
This Master Plan has been divided into eight projects that will combine to completely reinvent the Carmichael Complex.
To fund these changes, student fees for the gym will be raised from the current $45 per student annually to $102.50 per student, beginning in 2016.
Director of Recreation Eric Hawkes said the generated revenue will be used to update the complex and meet the standards expected from a university as large as NC State.
Hawkes said he hopes that updating Carmichael will inspire students to get involved in more programs the facility has to offer.
The most immediate updates to Carmichael will be implemented in a subset of the Master Plan known as The Carmichael Addition Project. The project will address an estimated $7.5 million in deferred maintenance work the complex must complete to meet the fundamental standards of a university gym.
“This current facility is broken, and that’s not okay,” Hawkes said.
Adding disability access to many parts of the complex is one of the crucial updates identified by the team of consultants.
Also slated for improvement are the facility’s locker rooms and shower areas. Hawkes said most of Carmichael’s facilities are sub-par when compared to many of the gyms he has visited.
While the university has hired a team of professional consultants to identify the major changes needed at Carmichael, it is still trying to find out what students want from their gym facilities in the future. The Recreation Department sent out several surveys to the student body asking what they would like to see added to Carmichael in the coming years.
To introduce the Recreational Master Plan to the NC State community, University Recreation held several “Visioning Sessions” in February. Students were asked to give information on how they used the facility in its current condition and offer feedback on what they identified as necessary changes within Carmichael.
Students who attended the meeting had the opportunity to brainstorm with the administrative heads of Carmichael, and give insights into what an ideal fitness space would look like. Community consensus showed that students wanted a gym that was open and inviting; a space that would inspire people to wellness.
Student Body President Rusty Mau said he appreciates that the Carmichael administration is involving students in this project.
“This is the right way to approach student fees and student expenditures and developments for students,” Mau said.
Hawkes said Carmichael will someday be an image as fundamental to displaying campus pride as the Talley Student Union. The goal is to not only modernize the gym, but create a facility that is the ultimate representation of the ideals of the university.