Happy Birthday!


Courtesy of Erin Sanders

Participants of the SRC X Games play bubble soccer on Monday night.

Nick Joyner

App State’s Student Recreation Center is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this week. The SRC is a 120,000 square foot facility with basketball courts, a climbing wall, an Olympic sized swimming pool and plenty more.

This week, the SRC if offering a variety of fun and unique games in honor of the facility’s ten year birthday. From battle ball (bubble soccer) to battle ship (canoes in the pool trying to sink each other), App State students are encouraged to come out and try something different.

“I believe offering non-traditional events will draw a curiosity of individuals to seek out the activity within the facilities,” assistant director for intramurals Erin Sanders said.

Some people may find themselves visiting the rec center a few times a semester and other students have made the SRC a part of their daily activities.

“Participants use intramural sports for different reasons: to exercise, relieve stress, socialize, try something new, for a job, etc,” Sanders said. “Those who participant consistently over many activities see IM sports as a community they belong to where they can set person challenges for both physical and cognitive growth.”

None of these intramural sports would be able to operate effectively, though, without a large home such as the SRC. As App State continues to grow and become an even bigger community, the need for a true multipurpose fitness center such as the SRC is clear.

“We see more than 1,600 a day through the doors of Quinn Rec, more than 580 a day at Mt. Mitchell Fitness and more than 3,000 a day at the Student Rec Center,” director of university recreation Joe Carter said.

Prior to the SRC, many programs within University Recreation operated out of Broome-Kirk Gymnasium. That all changed, however, on April 18, 2006, when the SRC’s doors opened. Due to the necessity for centralized office space, a swimming pool and a true weight room, university recreation decided to open up the facility during the middle of the spring 2006 semester.

Although this is the building’s 10 year anniversary, planning for the facility began back in 1996, 20 years ago. Students demanded less late night scheduling, a swimming pool that wasn’t getting closed due to leaks every month and more weight room space, all issues that came with the old Broome-Kirk Gymnasium. That led to a small group of Appalachian students that decided to take matters into their own hands.

“A group of interested students participated in several traveling tours in 1997-98 to visit what other campuses had recently opened,” Carter said. “Tours to Vanderbilt, Middle Tennessee State, Georgia, as well as campuses in Ohio and Maryland.”

“These students took photos of newly opened campus rec buildings on the different campuses. Every time they got an opportunity those five to seven students would go in front of SGA and say ‘Hey, here’s what this campus has. This is what this school just built, and here is what we want to try to get on our own campus.’”

Multiple meetings and powerpoint presentations to SGA, Resident Life, Greek organizations and even the University Cabinet were held to gain support for the project. Then, just a few years later in 2001-02, a student fee was introduced to support construction of the SRC. That proposal received 100 percent approval.

App State strives to provide students with an wide variety of options to suit their fitness needs. Along with the SRC, the fields at State Farm, the Quinn Center and Mount Mitchell all come together to allow students to exercise however they please.

“I believe the options for maintaining a healthy lifestyle are excellent,” vice chancellor Cindy Wallace said. “That goal of developing multiple options for that [active] lifestyle was the push behind building the SRC. As our campus community grew, we could not keep pace with demand. Appalachian students are incredibly active and are drawn to the mountains with a desire to lead a healthy, active life. The SRC has been a phenomenal success in every way.”

Moving forward, university recreation is always looking for ways to improve life for students and faculty all across the Appalachian community.

“I am hopeful that before I leave App State we can construct a facility on the east side of campus, and I would very much like to see a true student wellness facility housing Health Services, a Student Counseling Center, Wellness & Prevention, and UREC,” Carter said.

The celebration comes to a conclusion Friday afternoon with a cookout and cake at the main entrance at 2 p.m.