BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN
Officials lead a group around the upper running track during a tour of the new gyms inside the Healthy Living Centre at Brandon University on Wednesday.
Brandon University’s $20-million Healthy Living Centre is expected to be in full operation by January.
Large windows from the second-floor running track overlook the main foyer of the new Healthy Living Centre at BU on Wednesday. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)
The state-of-the-art facility has been under construction since August 2011, and yesterday members of the local media were taken on a tour to see the progress.
BU athletic director Russ Paddock said the Bobcats basketball and volleyball teams are anxious to get into the new facility.
"We’ve been expecting it and planning for it, but certainly to see it close to being finished, it’s exciting," Paddock said.
While the building is still under construction, teams have been using other gym spaces and community centres around Brandon for practices and training.
"We’re using some school gyms, which is great that we’re able to access those places," Paddock said. "We’re making due for now, and … we’re just excited for when we’re finally going to be able to get in here."
Basketball and volleyball teams are expected to be in the new facility for practices by October, and should play their first home game of the 2012-13 season in the new gymnasium.
"By November, we should be in and playing league games," said Scott Lamont, BU’s vice-president of administration and finance. "We hope that we have an opportunity to try out the facility even before that."
Lamont said the project has managed to stay within budget.
"Right now it’s working out pretty much the way we want," he said. "There’s inevitably little things that come up along the way, but there’s a contingency that’s built into any budget, and so far we’re still within the contingency."
The new facility includes three full-sized gymnasiums, a four-lane walking and jogging track, a fitness facility with new resistance and weight-training equipment, and a regional hard court facility with 1,000 spectator seats. It will be the new home of the BU Bobcats, providing a national-level competition space for volleyball and basketball. The gym will also be the venue for future convocations at BU.
Members of the general public will be able to purchase memberships to the fitness facility, but it’s still too early for details, such as what the rates will be.
"There will be memberships by the month or by the year. There will also be the opportunity for a person to come in and use it on a single day or for a single activity," Lamont said. "So it doesn’t have be only by way of memberships."
There are still many details to iron out before the facility opens in January.
"We’re in the process of hiring a facility manager right now," Lamont said. "Once the facility manager is here, there’s all kinds of things that need to be worked out about what activities are going to be in what areas and at what times, what are the rates going to be for our memberships, and so on."
The centre has nearly 80,000 square feet, which works out to an expansion of close to 50,000 square feet from the previous facility.
Environmentally friendly practices were implemented during the design and construction of the facility, with a goal of achieving a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver status.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 6, 2012