Renovation For CMU’s Philips Recreation Center

Multiple benefits of $1 million+ project

Rec CenterA major upgrade to the A. Perry Philips Recreation Center at Central Methodist University will mean different things to different people. But for the most important group – CMU students – the bonus is clear: more recreational opportunities.

The CMU Board of Trustees on Friday approved plans to renovate and expand the Center, a 28,000 square foot structure built in 1981. The project will add roughly 7,000 square feet, upgrade the heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and plumbing systems, and change the existing footprint for better functionality and greater student and community use.

Home to CMU's indoor swimming pool, an indoor artificial turf surface for intercollegiate athletics and intramurals, racquetball courts, locker rooms and athletics offices, Philips is heavily utilized but the current design limits its use.

The upgrade features a new multipurpose room and a multi-use court adaptable to recreational use for basketball, volleyball and other purposes, according to Julee Sherman, CMU vice president for finance and administration. The multipurpose room can be used for physical education classes, dance, yoga and more, and office space will be reconfigured.

The artificial turf surface, currently 50 yards by 70 yards, will actually be downsized slightly, Sherman noted. But because that area has doubled as storage, and the new design will build new storage space, the useable surface will actually increase, she said. One racquetball court will be retained in the renovation.

The project will commence in March, with completion set for September. CMU has selected PW Architects, Inc. of Columbia for the architectural work, and Coil Construction of Columbia will serve as the general contractor.

"In our 2012 Strategic Plan, additional activity spaces for students who weren't in athletics was identified as a shortcoming," Sherman said. "The Board asked us to address the issue of limited recreational opportunities for all students.

"We believe this project will accomplish that goal. It will benefit athletics, as well as community and public use, but the main purpose and priority is student recreation," she added.

Some spring and summer activities will be impacted. For example, area high schools have rented the facility for things like post-prom parties, and the center won't be available for those sorts of activities until next year.

The Center was named after the late A. Perry Philips, a 1930 Central alumnus, former Board member and benefactor.


Posted February 21, 2014