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New recreation center and pool to open this fall at Stanford

At the new center on Santa Teresa Street, faculty, students and staff will find basketball, volleyball and badminton courts, rooms for yoga, dance and weight training, and the 50-meter, outdoor Avery Recreation Pool.

L.A. Cicero Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center under construction

The Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center is scheduled to open in mid-September.

Sparks skittered across the cement floor inside the Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center last week as welders joined together the steel "bones" that will form the sturdy skeleton of a state-of-the-art climbing wall in the new building.

The welders, atop hydraulic lifts, are some of the 150 people working on the new recreation center rising on the west side of campus.

With its soaring, two-story arched windows and red tile roof, the exterior of the new building on the west end of Roble Field resembles the Arrillaga Center for Sports & Recreation on the east side of campus.

When the new center opens Sept. 17, faculty, students and staff will find basketball, volleyball and badminton courts, rooms for yoga, dance and weight training, the 50-meter, outdoor Avery Recreation Pool, and locker rooms and showers.

John Frost, who is supervising the construction project for Vance Brown Builders, Inc., general contractor, said the interior of the building, which also includes classrooms, offices and multipurpose rooms, is 90 percent complete.

The new center will house Stanford Outdoor Gear, which rents top-of-the-line outdoor equipment at low prices, including tents, backpacks, camp stoves and sleeping bags.

Stanford Cycling – the umbrella organization for the university's road and track racing team, mountain bike racing team, recreational rides and cycling-oriented community service efforts – will make its home in the new center.

Ray Purpur, deputy director of the Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation at Stanford, said the university hopes to entice new users as well as fitness buffs to the new center to take fitness classes, including Health Improvement Program (HIP) classes, and to shoot hoops, climb walls, pump iron and swim laps.

The new center is located on Santa Teresa Street, behind a row of sycamore trees, near a thriving neighborhood of students living in residence halls, suites and independent houses. The facility is just a short walk from the Science and Engineering Quad and the School of Medicine.

Purpur said Avery Recreation Pool will replace Roble Pool, which will be dug out to make way for an underground parking garage that will be constructed under the remaining part of Roble Field.

He said the new swimming pool will be devoted to campus recreation programs. The varsity swim team will not schedule workouts at the new pool, he said, but will continue training at the Avery Aquatic Center on the east side of campus.

Purpur commended the university's Department of Project Management, which was responsible for the development, design and construction of the new center, for the steps the department took to lessen the impact of the one-and-a-half year construction project on the Stanford community.

"The department has done a fantastic job making sure the streets are clean and safe, and traffic is rerouted around the construction site," he said.

Purpur said the fitness center in Tresidder Memorial Union, which attracts a large contingent of the Stanford community, will remain open for the foreseeable future.