UNR students approve proposed fitness fee

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UNR students approve proposed fitness fee

Unr_wiegand_fitness_center

The envisioned exterior of the future E.L. Wiegand Fitness Center at UNR.

Undergraduate students at the University of Nevada, Reno could soon be paying a $30 fee each semester to help cover the cost of a forthcoming fitness center and athletic facility.

61% of UNR undergraduates approved the fee in a recent advisory vote, while a majority of graduate students did not. That means the school will only be proposing the fee for undergraduates.

Jim Fitzsimmons, director of campus recreation, says fitness centers play a significant role in recruiting and retaining students.

"At the undergraduate level, this is a home they're coming to for the next four, five, six years. And so, they look for those amenities that are going to support the lifestyle they want. It's almost like when you move your family to a new town you look at schools and parks and things like that. So, it's very much an emotional decision on their part."

The new facilities will be built in 2016 at which point the undergraduate fee will increase to $60.

Fitzsimmons says the current fitness center, Lombardi, was never intended to serve the nearly 19,000 students enrolled today.

"Lombardi was built in 1974 to serve a campus of 4,000 students. Since 1991, we've done about eight-and-a-half million dollars of renovations in there to ramp it up to serve that role as a student fitness and rec center."

The Nevada Board of Regents will vote on the proposed fee in December.