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UW Bothell celebrates new 2.5 acre recreation complex
Basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis, ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, badminton and softball are just some of the sports that University of Washington Bothell students were excited about, despite standing outside in 40 degree temperatures and a slight drizzle.
About 150 students and faculty members came out to see the grand opening of the new 2.5 acre UW Bothell Sports and Recreation Complex on Thursday afternoon.
“The only thing I am wondering is where the ice skating rink is to play hockey,” joked UW Bothell Chancellor Kenyon S. Chan.
Despite the chilly temperatures, students got a chance to play a bit on the new 100,000-square-foot baseball and soccer field, with synthetic turf, sand volleyball court, basketball courts and tennis courts during the event. The complex is located to the east of Campus Way Northeast and runs alongside the North Creek Trail.
“I am excited for this,” said Bothell resident and UW freshman RJ Herana. “It is really nice.”
The $3.3 million facility was the brainchild of students.
“One of the first clubs I joined on campus was ultimate Frisbee but it was always hard to find a place to play,” said UW alumni Eric Chan, who helped spearhead the project. “Throughout the process I was really impressed with how the students and administration worked together.”
The project will be paid for during the next decade through a $30 student activities fee and $400,000 from the university said UW Bothell Student Body President Kevin King. The University also donated the land for the project.
“I am so excited about this because I am a soccer player,” said King, who got to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on the softball field. “I am ready to beat everyones’ butts … It really shows that the opportunities are endless here. A lot of students participated in the creation of this.”
The ribbon cutting also included an afternoon of fun, with a potato sack race, home-run derby, 3-point shootout, punt, pass and kick competition and flag football, to name a few.
“The rec fields add a tremendous part to student life,” said Kenyon S. Chan. “When you’re a student you need to burn off some energy. intellect is connected to the physical wellbeing.”
The fields also give students a place to congregate socially for events.
“I am really happy about this,” said student Jake Lee, who will enjoy using the tennis courts. “I know a lot of students who have been waiting for this.”
The university is also planning to build a 40,000-square-foot activities center that will house a fitness center and changing rooms among other amenities.
“I am hoping we will have the most beautiful student activities center in the Northwest,” said Chan.
The Sports and Recreation Complex is the first of three major construction projects to be completed over the next two years on the UW Bothell campus. The $68 million Science and Academic Building is expected to open in late 2014.
Also, the 4,500-square-foot Sarah Simonds Green Conservatory, complete with a greenhouse, education and exhibit space, is scheduled for summer 2013 completion.
And as for that ice skating rink, the basketball court will be temporarily transformed into one in February.