Purdue recreation facility to bear name of former President Cordova
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue's Board of Trustees on Friday (July 20) approved renaming the general recreation building on the West Lafayette campus the France A. Córdova Recreational Sports Center in honor of the university's most recent president.
The facility is in the final weeks of a $98 million renovation and expansion driven by a student initiative backed by Córdova to undertake the project and establish a student fee to finance it. She also played a key role in students' work on the center's design and features with architects, engineers and Howard Taylor, Purdue's director of recreational sports.
"The Córdova Recreational Sports Center places Purdue once more among the nation's universities with the finest campus recreational facilities," said trustees' chair Keith Krach. "From the cardio and strength options and the climbing wall to the atrium and health resources, it will serve as a campus center to advance student well-being and success."
The original center, which opened in 1957 with 148,700 square feet, was the first university building in the United States created solely to serve students' recreational sports needs. Among several updates through the years, an addition in 1981 added 62,500 square feet. Even so, when Córdova arrived at Purdue in 2007, the facility ranked last in the Big Ten in square feet per student.
The current expansion, for which construction began in spring 2010, will bring the size to about 355,000 square feet. The facility is scheduled to open in the fall semester.
Córdova led the process of making students' desires and design ideas a key part of the project approved by trustees on June 20, 2008. The center is a central part of the campus Student Success Corridor - a concept originated by Córdova - along Third Street. Construction is about to begin on a Center for Student Excellence and Leadership and a residence hall to the east.
"Dr. Córdova stated from the beginning that student success would be one of the hallmarks of her presidency," Krach said. "This center and the manner in which it came about testify to her commitment to that goal. It is highly appropriate for her name to be on the building."
Signage is planned to go above the east and west entrances and on the lawn near the center's southeast and northeast corners.
Many of the large residence halls are within a few blocks of the recreation center to the northeast and south. Immediately west of the Córdova Recreational Sports Center are the Boilermaker Aquatic Center and the Turf Recreation Exercise Center, as well as intramural fields.
"Our goal was to incorporate the students' desires and interests into the building, based on extensive surveying and focus groups, and President Córdova encouraged and enabled this process," Taylor said. "It has been a campus-wide effort with great results."
Writer: Dan Howell, 765-494-2028, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources: Keith Krach, email@example.com
Howard Taylor, 765-494-3114, firstname.lastname@example.org