A motion passed the student senate on Monday to raise student fees. The fees will increase by 1.5 percent, making students pay about five dollars more each semester.
This increase was due to a new project to expand the Stromberg Gym.
In a presentation to the senate, Kyle Braithwaite, the Weber State University Student Association president, and Brady Harris, the Davis Campus senator, discussed the need to renovate the gym.
“You might know the problems associated with the rec center right now: lots of traffic, multiuse, students who drop in sometimes just for exercise are kicked out because of a track meet or a class,” Braithwaite said.
A feasibility study was done to assess the building and what needed to be improved. Five models for improvements were made, and one was chosen. The one chosen would have the least amount of impact on the students during construction, meaning the gym would not be closed for long periods of time.
A new expansion would be added, which would cover about 30,000 square feet. There would also be a new entrance near the new residence hall being built.
“We anticipate there to be about 1,000 beds on campus come the end of 2013,” Braithwaite said. “Providing a space for opening rec and work out stations is part of the priority for students.”
The new expansion will remove 16 parking spaces in the parking lot, but will provide covered parking for some spaces. Above the current track, there will be a breezeway that will connect to the second floor of the Swenson Building. There will also be an additional track that would be added for students to use above the current track on the bottom floor.
“That allows for (students) to walk and/or run even when there is a track meet going on or potentially when there are tons of people on the bottom and you just want to walk,” Braithwaite said.
The expansion will be used mainly for students coming to exercise, not for sports or classes.
“The element is trying to get everything that students use to work out on a regular basis into the expansion,” Braithwaite said.
What passed during the student senate meeting was a raise in student fees in order to fund this project. The expansion was originally projected to cost $7 million, which was covered by rollover money from the bookstore’s remodeling. The project will now cost $10 million, and the additional funds will come from student fees.
The fee will be a permanent addition to the student fees even after the renovation is complete. When the money is no longer needed to fund this project, the funding will go toward other campus projects.
“The reason that this request is being made for the 1.5 percent increase is that this is primarily for what is called building funds, and that falls under the same category as the union building or the bookstore,” said Justin Neville, president of the student senate. “The 1.5 percent increase is in addition to the 2.5 to 3 percent increase, which is required due to inflation.”
Due to the motion being time sensitive, the senate moved to suspend Senate Rule 14, which states that something cannot be voted on the same day it was presented. The motion was passed with 18 votes in favor.
The fee increase was approved by a unanimous vote in an Student Fees Recommendation Committee meeting before being presented to the senate. The proposal will now be sent to the Utah state legislature for final approval.