Tens of millions of dollars in upgrades are on the way at the University of New Mexico’s recreation center.
“The place that we like to hang out as students, and just kind of like, play games and stuff, and make friends,” said UNM alumnus David Mueller.
Mueller is a new grad of UNM and says his best years at the university were spent at Johnson Field and Center.
“We all have these memories of being there. If you talk to older alumni, they always talk about it back in the past just hanging out on Johnson Field,” he said.
He admitted, the equipment inside Johnson Center was never in the best shape.
“It’s always been a little bit dated and sometimes, some of the equipment didn’t always work,” he said.
The university’s architect, Amy Coburn, says students won’t have to wait much longer for a Johnson Center overhaul.
“Construction just began for Johnson Center renovation and expansion,” she said.
Coburn is excited for students to see the improvements.
“The new areas will include will include weight training, cardio, fitness areas, which will be doubled in size, an indoor running and walking track,” she said. “Indoor cycling, and outdoor adventure shop, which will be a real wonderful expansion for the existing bike shop.”
The project costs $35 million and is paid for by student fees.
Coburn says she worked closely with students to make sure to give them what they need.
“I would love it if some of them who were participating in the very early workshops, are able to come back and see what we’ve done. I think they’d be really pleased,” she said.
Alumni, like Mueller, say he can’t wait to see the finished product.
“Oh, absolutely. Like, without a doubt. I’m excited,” he said.
Construction will be ongoing until the first quarter of 2020.
Johnson Center will be open the entire time of construction, and they will let students know when portions of the building are closed off because of construction.
Parking will also be effected during construction. The university encourages students and staff to refer to the school’s parking website for updates.