August 21, 2014

Elyria
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LCCC plans expansion of rec center

ELYRIA – Lorain County Community College is planning a two-phase, $4.2 million expansion and renovation for the college`s physical education center, LCCC officials said.

COURTESY LCCC
An artist`s rendering shows the proposed new recreation center at Lorain County Community College.

The plan`s first phase – a $2.3 million expansion scheduled to begin in April – will include the construction of a 13,000-square-foot facility that will connect the existing physical education center to the college`s gymnasium, said Steve Sefchik, LCCC spokesman.

The second phase will cost about $1.9 million and will include upgrades and renovations in the existing recreation center.

The first-phase expansion should be completed by December 2008, while the second-phase renovation should be finished in time for the fall term in 2009, Sefchik said.

The project will increase the overall square footage from 42,000 square feet to 55,000 square feet. Half the project`s cost will be funded through state grant money, while the remaining amount will be paid out of the college`s capital improvement funds.

College planners submitted artist renderings of the expanded building at the Elyria Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday.

Elyria Mayor Bill Grace said the project`s initial plans look good, though LCCC`s planners will still have to submit architectural plans to the city`s Building Department.

“From a Design Review standpoint, the Planning Commission was very pleased,” Grace said. “It`ll be a nice addition to the college.”

Among some of the new features the additional square footage at the recreation center will include: a new fitness area, a climbing wall, a new welcome desk, locker rooms, more hallway spaces, a running warm-up area and more, Sefchik said.

The overall plan will include additional weight-lifting equipment, as well as an “intelligent” system that tracks user progress during workouts and remembers users` personal settings on the electronic equipment, Sefchik said.

“The expansion is critical to the college`s ability to serve its students,” Sefchik said. “The physical education facilities were built in 1966 to serve 6,600 students. We now have 14,000 students between LCCC and the University Partnership. This upgrade will help the physical education area catch up to the college`s tremendous enrollment growth.”

The college`s gymnasium won`t be part of the overall project.

Sefchik said the expansion and upgrades will enhance the college`s current athletic and academic programs.

The school offers a two-year degree in sports and fitness management, as well as certification for personal trainers and group exercise instructors.

“The enhanced facility will provide more opportunity for students and community members to use cutting-edge health and fitness technology,” Sefchik said.

LCCC is also working on the construction of its new 86,000-square-foot library, a joint partnership with Elyria Public Library System. The library is scheduled to open in summer 2008.

Contact Shawn Foucher at 653-6255 or sfoucher@chroniclet.com.