Work has begun on the expansion and renovation of the Ryder Center with today's groundbreaking ceremony marking the official kick off. This $20 million project will consist of two phases. The first will be the construction of a new field house that will include a 300-meter indoor track to replace our current indoor and outdoor tracks; this is scheduled to be completed in April 2014. The infield of the track will have a synthetic turf surface suitable for baseball, softball, football and soccer practice purposes. Next year, work will begin to renovate the existing facility.
This project will benefit more than student-athletes. Many of our students engage in fitness and recreation activities. During the 2011-12 academic year, we recorded nearly 5,600 SVSU student participants in fitness, recreation, and/or intramural and club sports programs. While this is not an unduplicated list and some students undoubtedly are counted more than once, it does provide some scope for how heavily the Ryder Center – now 24 years old – is used.
The Ryder Center addition will expand north into parking lot E, resulting in reduced available parking there, so construction is getting underway in parking lot C, located east of Davis Road; and parking lot J-1, located west of Curtiss Hall. When all parking additions are complete, our campus will see a net gain of around 440 spaces.
Construction also is proceeding on the new exterior entrance to the Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum. This project is expected to wrap up late this year.
While not yet final, it seems that all major parties have agreed to the higher education budget for the state's upcoming fiscal year. We are scheduled to receive a meager 1.27 percent increase, which was, of course, disappointing. Our Board of Control meets Tuesday, June 18 to determine tuition rates and set our overall budget for next year.