Western State College of Colorado in Gunnison broke ground in mid-July for its new on-campus student recreation center and multipurpose field house.

Photo courtesy of JE Dunn Construction
Members of the Western State College board of trustees celebrated the recreation center groundbreaking with Rachel Burleson, WSC assistant athletic director; JE Dunn Vice President Kevin OGara; WSC President Jay Helman; WSC Student Recreation Director Janna Hanson; Andy Barnard, principal architect with Sink Combs Dethlefs; Steve King and Fred Coester with Sink Combs Dethlefs and Matt Vineyard, senior project manager with JE Dunn.

Scheduled for completion in spring 2014, it will be the highest-elevation collegiate competition track in the United States. The project will begin with the demolition of the existing Shavano Residence Hall Complex to make way for the $25-million recreation center and fieldhouse. 

“The groundbreaking for Western State’s new fieldhouse and recreation center represents a momentous time and accomplishment for the university,” said WSC President Jay Helman. “Construction of a facility such as this was part of ‘dream discussions’ when I arrived at Western as a faculty member and men’s basketball coach 22 years ago.”

Denver’s JE Dunn Construction, general contractor for the facility, is teaming up with Sink Combs Dethlefs Architects, also of Denver, for the 124,383-sq-ft project that will include an NCAA regulation-sized indoor track, multi-purpose interior courts, offices and classroom space in support of the school’s intercollegiate athletic program.  The project also includes minor renovation of existing classroom, office and support space within Paul Wright Gymnasium.

 Approximately 40 people attended the groundbreaking celebration, including WSC President Jay Helman and various WSC trustees. JE Dunn attendees included Kevin O’Gara, T.O. Brickell and Matt Vineyard. In attendance from Sink Combs Dethlefs were Andy Barnard, Steve King and Fred Coester.

“The facility will signal to current and future students that Western truly values the importance of healthy and physical lifestyles,” Helman added.  “When people think of the Gunnison valley and of this university, they should, among other things, associate us with health, wellness and human performance. This facility will take Western to new levels of excellence on this front.”