Showers, lockers planned for Ford Center as part of expansion

Showers and lockers for students, staff and faculty who use the Arrillaga Family Recreation Center are included in a larger plan to expand the nearby Ford Center by about 8,700 square feet. The expansion, approved by the Board of Trustees last month, also will bring student gymnasts and their coaches under one roof. Additionally, the project will replace racquetball courts eliminated by the closure of the DeGuerre Courts.

The expansion should be welcome news for those who regularly use the recreation center. Since it opened in autumn 2005, many have grumbled about the building's lack of showers; users often change clothes in the bathrooms next to the gym on the lower level. The Ford Center's expansion is expected to be complete in September 2007.

Plans call for the lockers and showers to be installed in space currently occupied by the gymnastics team, while new lockers, showers, offices and storage space are created for the athletes and their coaches on nearly 4,200 square feet of fresh floor space. Currently, gymnasts practice and use lockers in the Ford Center, while their coaches keep offices in nearby Burnham Pavilion.

Four new racquetball courts will be built on about 4,500 square feet of the expansion. The overall project is the result of a need for additional space identified by the Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation. The total project cost is budgeted for $5.7 million, according to the Dec. 11 presentation to the trustees' Committee on Land and Buildings.

The design of the expansion, which also will include an additional 900 square feet of exterior arcade space, is intended to complement recent renovations and other development along Galvez Street—specifically, the recreation center, Montag Hall and a new building proposed for the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

The board previously approved the concept and site of the Ford Center expansion in October, and it will return once more for final approval in February. The sailing and crew team coaches will use the space vacated by the gymnastics coaches in Burnham.