After years of heavy use by the UNH community, the 85,000 square-foot Hamel Recreation Center is in the process of receiving a facelift. With construction already underway, anexpansion project is in full force to renovate the recreational sports facilities.
To help with the development of this project, feedback was gathered from surveys, focus groups and open forums, as well as UNH’s Residence Hall Association, Student Senate and Graduate Student Senate. Additional data from peer institutions and national standards were incorporated to help the project come to life.
As the academic school year nears its close, the renovation will pick up and finishing touches will begin. The expansion project will cost a total of $35.5 million to complete.
Campus recreation director Stacey Hall said that out of the $35.5 million total, $5.5 is for deferred maintenance, such as replacing the roof, repairing and replacing much of the air handling units and replacing hardwood flooring. That money comes from the university fund designated for capital repairs.
“Of the remaining $30 million, most of it will be funded through a loan that students will pay. A small portion is being funded from Health Services, as there is designated space for educational and counseling sessions for Health Services,” Hall said.
Some of the major companies involved in the expansion project are Hughes Group Architects, the Portsmouth branch of Oak Point Associates and the Boston branch of Shawmut Design and Construction.
Hall noted that the brand-new outdoor pool would be ready for use by students and faculty during the summer months. However, the details regarding the opening of the pool and other summer availability information at the recreation center won’t be finalized until Monday, May 2. Information will be available on the campus recreation website.
Though the new outdoor pool will be opening come summer, the Hamel Recreation Center will not reopen until the fall 2016 semester. The existing building will also be renovated and will be available for campus usage during the spring semester of 2017.
Hall said the primary focus of the campus recreation center is “to meet the needs of students, faculty and staff first.” More communal usage of the Hamel Recreation Center will be considered when the expansion is completed.
According to Hall, UNH and campus recreation staff is most excited to be able to serve the needs of all community members.
“This is one of the primary goals of the project because it is such a need of our students, faculty, staff and community members,” she said.
The project will include features like increased fitness space, a one-tenths mile suspended track, wellness space, instructional kitchen and a large multi-activity court.
Additional information about the renovations is available at the Campus Recreation website.