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OSU Rec Fee Still Debated by Students

Ohio State University's newest recreation center opened earlier this week. The Rec Main building, part of a 140-million-dollar project, replaces the old Larkins Hall next door. Students are helping to pay for it with a mandatory recreation fee. WOSU's Sam Hendren talked to students to find out whether they think the new facility is worth the increase in fees

The new Rec Main building - part of the RPAC project - opened quietly Monday morning after months of construction delays. Jeff McCord, a political science and geography major had just completed his first workout there on Thursday. He says he's impressed with the building's space, its equipment and its quality and he doesn't mind the additional $42 that will be added to his tuition and fees beginning with the fall quarter

The fee doesn't bother me. I think it's worthwhile and I think they've made a lot of necessary improvements.

Deirdra Johnson does object to the fee. She's been a graduate student at Ohio State for two years. And she's says she's never used a rec facility on campus

It should be voluntary. If you're going to use it, pay the fee. If not, you shouldn't charge this enormous fee on top of other fees we have to pay.

Student Alicia Childs put it this way

$40 for something I might not possibly go into is ridiculous!

A fulltime, in-state undergraduate student at Ohio State will pay as much as $2500 in tuition and fees for the fall quarter - that doesn't include housing and meals. To Josh Bailey, an MBA student and an ROTC instructor, the extra fee is a bargain

It think it's well worth it. If you compare it costs you $30 a month just to have a membership out at the world's gym and you're not going to get nearly all you're going to get here.

The new four-story building is huge. It offers eight new basketball courts, a jogging track, a wellness center and several large cardio and weightlifting areas among other things. Five new swimming pools will open in a few weeks. Administrators say the facility is unequaled. Staff member Marci Harrington says the additional brings Ohio State to the industry standard

People say it's such a large facility but they have to remember what a large student population we're trying to serve here. The industry standard is to have 1 square foot of fitness space per student, and we are very close to that at Ohio State with the addition of this facility. We're almost to 50,000 square feet of fitness space.

That's counting all of the University's recreational facilities - including the 2 Jesse Owens centers and the Adventure Recreation Center. Recreational Sports Director Mike Dunn says the project's planning committee surveyed other Ohio campuses and schools in the Big 10 as well as universities around the country to see how they financed similar projects

What we came up with when the day was done was that we needed to go with a mandatory fee for students.

Student fees will remain $42 per quarter through spring, 2006. After that, the fee will increase to $76 dollars per quarter. Sam Hendren, WOSU News