The Advance-Titan

After the students voted to increase their segregated fees in 2012 to pay for the RecPlex, community members say ‘it’s finally happening’

Alex Nemec

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Twelve members of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh community, including Interim Provost John Koker and OSA President Maria Berge, shovel dirt as part of the ceremonial RecPlex groundbreaking, that took place on Thursday.  The RecPlex is a 4.35 acre facility that can fit over 40 intramural teams & 16 sports clubs.Alex Nemec | The Advance-Titan

Twelve members of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh community, including Interim Provost John Koker and OSA President Maria Berge, shovel dirt as part of the ceremonial RecPlex groundbreaking, that took place on Thursday. The RecPlex is a 4.35 acre facility that can fit over 40 intramural teams & 16 sports clubs.

Twelve members of the Oshkosh community who contributed to the RecPlex project broke ground on Thursday to officially start the building of the 4.35 acre facility.

Oshkosh Student Association President Maria Berge said she is excited the RecPlex project, which has been in the works for eight years, is underway.

“This is something we’ve been looking forward to for a very long time,” Berge said. “Despite having been started long before I was here, I’ve been anticipating this project ever since I heard about it as a freshman.”

Berge said most of the outdoor recreations UW Oshkosh offers are not properly lit and don’t have any amenities or fencing.

“This is going to be a really nice facility for students to use at night; it’s safe and staffed,” Berge said. “In addition to that, too, indoor space you can use year-round, which is really nice. There’s just more opportunities for everything, really.”

Student Recreation Advisory Council Committee member Adrianna Marrero said the RecPlex will offer 20 to 30 new student jobs.

Marrero said she talked to many students about the RecPlex and students are excited for it.

“I think a huge thing is having support from students since ultimately it is a facility for them,” Marrero said. “All of their eyes lit up, and they’re more than ready to use the facility.”

Interim Provost John Koker said the RecPlex will be the campus’ safe space for UWO students to stay physically fit and enjoy themselves in a new way.

“This space will provide them with the space they need for recreational pursuits as they blow off some steam and energy from their academic work,” Koker said.

Koker said he hopes the RecPlex becomes a driving force in bringing in students from other areas to Oshkosh over other universities.

“Any way we can make our campus more attractive to prospective students is a plus for all of us,” Koker said. “I think we lead with academic programs, and we back all of those up with activities and opportunities.”

Mayor of Oshkosh Steve Cummings said the campus is more dynamic and thinks, with all the changes happening in the city, it’s becoming a more desired destination.

“There’s just so much more to do,” Cummings said. “It’s just one more thing to add to why a student should come here, why a student should stay here, why a company should relocate here and why faculty would want to come here; there’s just so much to do in the community.”

Director of Student Recreation Nathan Scott said he thinks it will bring a lot of life to campus.

“It’s going to be a quality facility that we can utilize year-round, and we’re excited to work with student organizations to give them space and time in the RecPlex,” Scott said.

Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Cheryl Green said when students thrive, the university thrives.

“They are the heart of who we are and why we are here to serve,” Green said. “It took a community of critical stakeholders to collaborate on this project.”
Cummings said it’s great to see the RecPlex finally start to be built.

“Having grown up in Oshkosh, I can recall when this area was pretty depressed industrial and even some pretty bad housing,” Cummings said. “So it’s just really great to see all the enormous changes happening in this area over the last few decades.”

Koker said what is really special about the RecPlex is that the students put together a business plan, and it will become a campus and event city-community asset.

“Hats off to all of our students; we applaud your investment in health, wellness and stronger community for the thousands and thousands of Titans who will enjoy this facility in the years to come,” Koker said.

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
After the students voted to increase their segregated fees in 2012 to pay for the RecPlex, community members say ‘it’s finally happening’