Ryan Chartrand

A new poolside recreation area will open on campus the beginning of winter quarter.

The parcel, located at the Cal Poly Rec Center pool, will feature a shaded picnic area, outdoor showers and a space for a portable barbecue. A construction team recently tore down the pool area’s east wall to incorporate the beach volleyball courts into the location.

Construction began last month and will cost $113,000.

The new location will create a lounge space for students and provide campus clubs with a venue to hold events, said Ron Skamfer, Associated Students Inc. associate director of recreational sports. He said the parcel also gives the pool a more casual and recreational feel.

“I’m very excited. It’s an improvement to the facility that has a direct benefit to students. When it’s done, people will see it’s a wise improvement. It combines two spaces that seemed like separate facilities into one space,” said Skamfer, who oversaw the project.

Industrial technology senior Vince Dito, who swam at the pool Monday, said the new recreation area should draw more students to the pool.

“It’s cool. You can just chill out in your bathing suit and barbecue, play volleyball and just hang around in the pool,” he said.

Campus sororities, fraternities, clubs and college councils had major input into the construction of the location. Brandon Souza, chair of the University Union Advisory Board, said all campus parties agreed that the parcel would create a needed space for campus groups to hold events.

“As clubs and the students population grow, clubs have nowhere to go. ASI felt it was important to provide clubs with programmable space,” Souza said.

The parcel serves as an interim project while ASI explores expanding the current Rec Center, Souza said. The group is in the preliminary stages of researching the cost and feasibility of such a project.

Souza said the Rec Center, built in 1993, is no longer able to service the growing university student population. He added that Rec Center employees often must serve as bouncers to limit the number of people in the weight room.

“It’s gotten to the point of being ridiculous when students are waiting for machines and can’t do their workout. ASI’s focus is to keep students happy and make sure they get the most out of their college experience. That’s why we’re looking into the Rec Center expansion,” Souza said.

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