After the Physical Education Centre (PEC) officially closed three years ago, plans are in the works to have parts of the building reopened by December.
Physical Plant Services (PPS) had conducted an assessment over the summer for a $1.4 million renovation of the former athletics complex.
Renovations began earlier this month and will include installing a new roof and ventilation system, as well as new heating system and fixing electrical issues.
The aesthetics of the building will also be addressed, with new interior paint and flooring.
Before the proposal to reopen the PEC came forward, last year’s AMS executive team put forward plans to renovate MacGillivary-Brown Hall in order to increase intramural and club space on campus.
In the summer of 2011, the building was flooded and renovations were put on hold.
“Throughout the research for our campaign, it was apparent to us that the space demands on campus exceeded the capacity of initiatives like the MacGillivray-Brown renovation,” Tristan Lee, AMS vice-president of operations, said.
The decision to reopen the PEC came about as a result of the AMS executive’s platform initiative that would see more space for intramural sports on campus, Doug Johnson, AMS president, said.
The AMS submitted their proposal to the Provost for anassessment in March. Queen’s Student Affairs and the University Registrar also submitted proposals to the Provost calling for more space on campus.
“During our campaign we did research and found that a lot of people needed more space on campus,” Johnson, ArtSci ’12, said. “We got enormous amounts of support from students to find a way to do this.”
The AMS won’t directly pay for the cost of renovations to reopen the building, Johnson said.
Student Affairs has gathered some funding for the renovations from grants, Johnson said.
“One of the biggest concerns was that a lot of people thought [the PEC] was condemned,” he said, “but it’s not as bad as everyone thinks; there are no major renovations that need to be done.”
In 2011-12, the waitlist for intramural sports teams at Queen’s exceeded 1,000 students.
The reopening of the PEC will bring three more gyms in addition to the two housed in the Athletics and Recreation Centre, allowing more students to participate in intramural sports.
Johnson added that having these added facilities available for exam period will make it easier for students to ask professors questions during their exams.
“[When the PEC closed] it became much more difficult if you had a question for a prof, they had to go back and forth,” he said.
The University has spent upwards of $50,000 a year in proctor fees because of the number of different rooms exams are held in, Johnson said.
The reopening could also see more commercial opportunities between Queen’s and other groups in Kingston in need of athletic facilities, Johnson said, adding that Queen’s currently allows Kingston Collegiate Vocational Institute access to Tindall Field in exchange for their gym facilities.
“We saw the PEC could also do that with other groups throughout the city,” he said.
The PEC will also house additional space for Queen’s Health, Counselling and Disability Services, as well as other clubs on campus.
Duane Parliament, coordinator of intramural and summer leagues at Queen’s Athletics, said the planning process to incorporate more intramural teams hasn’t yet started.
“It’s great news for us obviously with the extra space that we’re going to get,” he said. “We’re just sort of finding out about this and starting there and we hope to expand as quick as we can.”
Parliament hopes to have a detailed plan ready for December.
“We’re over 500 intramural teams total now because of the extra space we have at KCVI,” he said. “It’s great news and we hope to continue to expand.”
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