Stanford breaks ground in west-campus gym

Oct. 3, 2011, 2:05 a.m.

Construction on the Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center will be finished by winter quarter 2013, administrators predict.

The new gym will closely resemble the existing Arrillaga Center for Sports and Recreation (ACSR) from the outside and will have the same 75,000-square-foot size, but will not include the same facilities for Stanford athletic teams. Workers broke ground for the new gym in August.

Stanford breaks ground in west-campus gym
Construction on the Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center is progressing on what used to be the west half of Roble Field. (WENDING LU/The Stanford Daily)

Instead, the new facility is aimed at providing more comprehensive and accessible recreation to encourage health and wellness for all students. It serves the west side of campus–which has not had its own weight-room facilities since most of the equipment was moved to the ACSR in 2005–and aims to bring together recreational opportunities that go beyond the basics.

“It is a prime location because we have the golf course there and the Red Barn and other recreational opportunities,” said Deputy Athletic Director Ray Purpur. “But currently the pool is inadequate, [like] the facilities in general.”

The building will have two floors, similar to the ACSR, with the upper featuring a large space for Stanford’s strong outdoor education programs. It will be the new home of Stanford Outdoor Gear (SOG), which is currently based out of shipping containers on Stock Farm Road. There is also the possibility of a retail area that will sell outdoor equipment.

The entry level will have three basketball courts, a space for the club cycling team, a 3,200-square-foot climbing wall and a 1,700-square-foot dance studio. The facility emphasizes flexible usage space to accommodate the diverse and changing recreational activities of the students.

“Part of it is we don’t yet know what the demand is,” Purpur said. “At one time, everybody wanted racquetball courts and now nobody does, although there has been a surge lately.”

The basement floor has even more flexible space, with four smaller classrooms and two larger spaces, one 3,500 square feet and the other 3,300 square feet, all designed for general-purpose use. The basement will also feature a large weight room.

“It will be quite a bit bigger than the one we have now,” Purpur said. “It will have men’s locker rooms and women’s locker rooms and showers and everything, and it will be attached to the pool.”

The pool will be 50 meters, Olympic sized and will only be used for recreation. One end of the pool will have a zero-entry feature that allows people to enter and exit without using the standard ladders.

The pool construction will be funded by the Avery family, the family that funded the Avery Aquatic Center, while the Arrillaga family is again covering the majority of the costs for the gym facilities. The construction costs will come from the two families, while the “University fees,” which include costs such as permitting and architects, will come from the University’s general funds. Cost estimates range between $30 and 40 million.

Construction will mean a reduction in the size of Roble Field, which decreases the amount of open space on west campus. However, by eliminating the existing Roble Pool and some temporary buildings, there will be space for a full-size soccer field between Roble Gym and the new recreation center.

“I know the University is very good at making sure there is plenty of green space,” Purpur said. “That is what ‘the Farm’ is.”

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