Universities Out-of-Control Spending


54,000 square foot day-care facility for Cal State students.

Inquiring minds are dumbfounded this morning at Cal State East Bay staff and students having a new place to sweat away those extra holiday season pounds as the school unveiled its Recreation and Wellness Center on Tuesday. The 54,000-square-foot facility is not open to the general public, just currently enrolled students (who qualify for a complimentary membership each quarter), and faculty, staff, retirees and alumni (who can use the facility for a fee per school quarter):

The center doesn’t just encourage the health of staff and students, but also the environment.

It includes a variety of sustainable building designs, such as a green roof system and water-efficient landscaping. A specially designed wall that absorbs heat, combined with natural ventilation features, will help keep the building naturally cool during the day.

For members, the facility includes a multicourt gymnasium, elevated jogging track, fitness center and multipurpose fitness and activity rooms for aerobics, martial arts and dancing.

The center also will provide a space for the school’s intramural sports, such as basketball, volleyball and badminton, as well as fitness programs such as weight training.

In addition, the facility has an outdoor adventure center that will allow students to get information on activities such as kayaking, hiking and camping in the Bay Area. That department also will have equipment available to students.

The exterior of the new Recreation and Wellness Center at Cal State East Bay is seen Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011, in Hayward, Calif.

How was this Taj Mahal of a day spa paid for?

Oh, it was self-financed

The $32 million facility was financed through student fees negotiated with student groups, including Associated Students Inc., in 2007. Associated Students was the organization that hired a design company to perform a feasibility study for the project.

Never mind all the money that is given to the Cal State Universities, this one project is ‘self-financed through student fees‘. Isn’t this like giving money to a homeless shelter and finding out they they have spent ‘their own’ money on expensive champagne to go along with the donated food? If the students can spend fees on this project, then why can’t they spend that same money on the increase in tuition needed to close the subsidy gap?

In a time of austerity, is this the best use of funds?

This is not a unique facility. We know Cal State Fullerton has a similar one. As for other Cal State sites, SurivingCalifornia has no information. However, we would bet there are other facilities at the other campuses.

When students are taking to the streets because of tuition hikes, please inform them they have already spent their “allowance”.

Unbelievable.

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