UNBC Plans New Sportsplex

December 13, 1999 For Immediate Release

The University of Northern British Columbia today unveiled concept drawings of a new athletic building proposed for the Prince George campus. The funding is not in place to build the new facility, but a fundraising plan will be developed over the next few months.
The new Sportsplex would greatly enhance recreational opportunities for UNBC students, employees, community sport groups, and the general public. The proposed facility includes a gymnasium with four basketball courts and seating for 2000, an indoor soccer/exercise room with seating for 1000, an indoor running track with three lanes, squash courts, a weight and cardio room, a full change facility, an aerobics area, and a concession. The cost is estimated to be around $20 million, including new parking lots and equipment.
Over the past year, University and community sport group representatives have developed a plan for a facility that will meet university and community recreational needs. "
At this point it's important to raise public awareness about the Sportsplex and generate some excitement around what this facility will mean to Prince George and the region," says UNBC President Charles Jago.
A Sportsplex will facilitate the development of recreational activities for students and foster the evolution of UNBC's varsity athletics program. Local sports club representatives have been part of the planning of this new facility because they recognize the positive impact this facility will have on local athletes, their sports, the community, and the region. There are a number of benefits the new facility would bring:
  1. Current athletic facilities in the City are currently booked solid. The City's Leisure Services department acknowledges that there is an unmet need for recreational facilities in the community.

  2. The facility will allow UNBC and Prince George to attract more high-calibre sporting events to the City. The Multiplex and Aquatic Centre are examples of how good facilities can help attract new teams and tournaments to the region. The attraction of provincial and national tournaments will have an economic spin-off effect on the City.

  3. The development of this facility at UNBC will provide options for our best young athletes to pursue their sport and their education in northern BC. UNBC's varsity basketball teams, for example, have already attracted top high school players from Williams Lake, Vanderhoof, Prince George, and Terrace. Home basketball games are currently played at CNC.

  4. Building a community athletic facility at UNBC will save millions in construction costs. The University campus was built with expansion in mind, so the new building will be able to tie into the existing campus network for heat, light, and other services.

  5. Since the grand opening of the University in 1994, the student population has risen from 1400 to 3400. UNBC has attracted students and faculty from across Canada and around the world and has proven itself in the Maclean's magazine ranking of Canadian universities. The new building will open up some space for classrooms and make UNBC even more attractive to potential students. UNBC's growth is good for Prince George and for northern BC - currently UNBC's economic spin-off is estimated at around $100-million per year. Growth at UNBC will increase the economic spin-off for the City.

  6. A provincial study has indicated a significant need for more space at UNBC. Given the current number of students and activity on campus, UNBC only has about 65% of the space it needs. In the months ahead, a brochure will be produced to raise awareness of the facility and presentations will be given to local sports and recreation groups in the City and the region. At this time, there is no construction timetable.

For information about the Sportsplex, access the new website at www.unbc.ca/sportsplex

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