By a mere 200ish votes, the students at UofG supported the athletic facilities referendum question in the recent CSA election.
The question asked for an addition $4 from students each semester - athletic fees go from $34-$38 per semester and that increase will ultimately bring about MASSIVE changes.
I talked to Tom Kendall, the Director of Athletics today and he was extremely excited about receiving the support of the students.
The student contribution will finance two substantial projects:
1.) Renovation of the W.F. Mitchell Athletic Centre. We're talking new gyms, weight rooms, indoor track, changing facilities, offices, the whole nine. This is the building that is most used by students and Kendall wanted to make sure that their financial contribution went towards a facility that exclusively benefits students. Look for building to commence within the next 18-24 months for this incredible project.
2.) Synthetic turf soccer fields. The days of poorly irrigated grass and inconsistent traction will soon be over as the new fields will feature synthetic turf, a modern surface similar to that at BMO Field in Toronto where Toronto FC play Major League Soccer. Not only will the existing fields be replaced, but new ones will also be built. This project will be the first to get underway and an optimistic Kendall said Fall 2010 would be the LATEST that these new fields would be available for use.
This is great news for the university as a whole! The Athletic quadrant of campus was recently deemed the area of greatest need. Kendall was very appreciative of student support and Guelph's top-ranked intramural program will also receive a great boost from this.
Look for more information on this development in this week's edition of The Ontarion as both myself and the current Sports Editor, Daniel Bitonti will provide comments.