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GSU's Recreation Activity Center expansion opening Monday

Almost nine years after the original building opened, Georgia Southern's Recreation Activity Center is set to open an expansion that will more than double the size of the facility.
    On Monday, the student-funded expansion will open its doors, offering additional basketball courts, weight room space and a cardio deck with treadmills and exercise bikes.
    "I'm excited," said senior David Roberts. "I am a little disappointed that it's opening so late and I'm only going to have a semester to enjoy it."
    The 135,000 square-foot addition will bring the total square footage of the building to more than 215,000 square feet. According to information on the Georgia Southern website, the new facility cost $31 million and was funded though an increase in the recreation fee charged to students. The fee increase was approved by Georgia Southern's Student Government Association.
    The new facility will have a new fitness center, two multi-activity courts where basketball, indoor soccer and volleyball can be played as well as two additional basketball courts. There's also a new weight room and a cardio deck with treadmills and other aerobic equipment.
     Even though the new facility is opening Monday, there are parts of the building not quite ready to be utilized, including the indoor pool. Gene Sherry, executive director of the RAC, said he hopes the pool will be open in a few weeks.  
    While the new portion of the facility will be open on Monday, portions of the original building will be closed until early next year to allow for some remodeling of space in that section.
    "This isn't our grand opening," said Sherry.  "This move will allow us to continue working on what we need to get done."
    Even though the RAC opened nine years ago, Sherry said he wasn't surprised that an addition was needed already.
    "In the original needs assessment, we determined we needed 150,000 square feet, so we knew would need additional space soon," Sherry said. "Obviously with the growth of the campus in the last five years made that more evident."
    Alex Clark, a second-year student at Georgia Southern, said he's excited about seeing the new building.
    "There will be more room to work out," he said.
    Roberts said he thought the additional space and equipment was needed because of the number of people who come to use the facility.
    "If you come between four and eight (p.m.), you have to wait to use some of the weight machines," he said.
    The original facility opened on April 18, 1998.

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