Deijanelle Simon is the SA president who has been overseeing the developments of ARC. The facility will be open in the Fall of 2021 with an estimated cost of $48-million. Photo credit: Joshua Ambar

With 250 parking spots occupied and construction set to begin in early October, the ARC has officially started to make its presence known at Algonquin College.

The SA announced the development of the Athletics and Recreation Complex (ARC) during a meeting with journalism students on March 18, 2019 and held the ground-breaking event for the new facility on April 9, 2019.

Deijanelle Simon, president of the Students’ Association, said that the ARC came from research as to what students were looking for on campus. With the growing number of students leading healthier lifestyles, the college did not have the capacity for students to use the Fitness Zone or gym.

“With the changing in society, people’s standards for gyms and facilities and athletics and recreation centers is a lot higher than what we have to offer,” said Simon.

Simon said that the ARC will include facilities such as a track, golf simulators, pool tables, a double varsity gym, a climbing wall, a recreational gym and bowling.

“Literally anything you can possibly think about and all in one building,” said Simon.

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The ARC will include multiple facilities that the school does not currently offer. It will include a climbing wall, a track, bowling lanes and much more. Courtesy of Student Association

Students may be unaware of what is happening at the closed-off construction in parking Lot 8, but Simon described that the SA is planning on getting renderings of ARC. The renderings will include how it started, the story, theme and vision on the school’s digital screens to inform students on the recreational facilities that await them.

The new president and CEO of the college, Claude Brulé, believes that this facility will be a great addition to the campus and will give students a great college experience.

“It addresses their desires, their wish for a healthy lifestyle other than necessarily what we were able to offer before,” said Brulé.

Algonquin is contributing $5.5-million to the construction, which will be the replacement value for the old gym and fitness center once it is vacated, explained Brulé.

The college is also adding $11.9-million to build a bridge link between the Student Commons and ARC, as well all enabling work to ensure that the site is ready for construction.

“I am really excited by this because it has a climbing gym in it and I have done some climbing in my past, so I am looking forward to giving this new facility a go when it is open,” said Brulé.

Although limited parking is becoming a growing concern due to construction, and a waitlist has been implemented; Simon has received mostly positive feedback. The SA president also reminds the college that students are the reason behind this construction.

“I am excited about it and I think that kind of translates into the rest of the student body,” said Simon. “Students made this building, I am proud of that and I think other students should be proud of that too.”

ARC is owned and operated by the SA and is expected to open by August 2021 with the estimated cost of $48-million.