The construction of the U of A’s new Physical Activity and Wellness (PAW) Centre has taken a big step forward this week, with Monday’s official groundbreaking ceremony.
“The PAW Centre is a truly outstanding addition to our campus, as is the visionary process by which it has been created,” said Students’ Union President Colten Yamagishi.
“This new Centre, built out of a great partnership with the university community, will add real and significant value to the university experience of future undergraduate students, and I’m very proud of what we have all achieved here.”
The PAW Centre will be composed of a social street connecting multiple buildings and a new, eye catching climbing complex that will rise high next to the Butterdome and faces south towards the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy. Students are turning out in higher numbers than ever before to take advantage of the physical health facilities on campus, making the current fitness centre crowded — the new building properly quenches this thirst for athletic improvement, with a larger, more open fitness centre with modern equipment and ample use of natural light.
“The new PAW Centre will feature expanded student lounges, multi-purpose rooms and eagerly awaited community kitchen space, where programming may soon be offered to enable students to enhance their culinary knowledge,” Yamagishi added.
“We envision the social street that will run through the Centre will bring students together in their athletic endeavors as well as socially, and further enhance the sense of community that our predecessors have built on this campus. It is projects like this that truly add to the student experience, that give students space to meet, to collaborate and to grow.”
The PAW Centre has been a key project for the Students Union, with previous Presidents Rory Tighe, Nick Dehod and Zach Fentiman working hard alongside Vice Presidents Andy Cheema, Saadiq Sumar, Kristen Flath, Steven Dollansky and SU general manager Marc Dumouchel in order to bring the project to completion.
While undergraduate and graduate students will be contributing $30 million to the project, further support from the Government of Alberta to the tune of $4.5 million, $10 million from an anonymous donor and $17.5 million from the University of Alberta will combine in order to create something that will greatly benefit the entire U of A community.
Yamagishi added that the successful undergraduate referendum to build the PAW centre was also groundbreaking, proving that students aren’t necessarily fee averse when they recognize value.
“Students approved the PAW Centre referendum fee because they can see the great value it will add to the student experience,” Yamagishi explained.
“Furthermore, the student levy to support this, $29 per fall or winter term and $14.50 per spring and summer session, will only be charged to students once the building is completed. This is important, because in the interest of fairness only the undergraduates that will be actively using the facility will pay for it.”
Further information about the PAW Centre can be found here where the SU will be posting project news and updates as they occur.
For more information, please contact:
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union