LA JUNTA — Construction of a 9,000 square foot addition to McDivitt Center Gymnasium on the Otero Junior College campus is on schedule for a November completion date. The new addition will become the college’s new Fitness Center and will include areas for elliptical and weight training equipment, an aerobics room, two racquetball courts and men’s and women’s dressing rooms with shower facilities.
Bassett Construction, from Pueblo, is the general contractor for the $1.25 million facility. Several subcontractors from the local area are also a part of the construction team. The facility was designed by Connie Ryan, an OJC alumna and architect with HGF Architect, Pueblo.
According to Wayne Stuchlik, director of the OJC Physical Plant, the construction crews have completed the initial foundation work and will begin to rough in the utilities over the next week.
“We’re very pleased with the progress that has been made since construction began about two months ago. At this time, unless we hit some unforeseen delays, we’re counting on a November completion date,” said Stuchlik.
In addition to the 9,000 sf addition being added on to the south of the existing gym, plans are also being considered for a 1,800 sf addition to the east of the gym which would house all of the athletic coaches’ offices and a conference room.
“The office addition to the complex was initially considered a second phase project; however, with the continued decline in building costs, we are giving serious consideration to adding the second phase to coincide with the first phase. The architectural plans for the addition are currently going through a code review, so we may have a decision on how that next phase will progress within a few weeks,” said Stuchlik.
Jim Rizzuto, president of Otero Junior College, explained that the college has seen an increased need to build a Fitness Center on campus for several years, and now, with building costs low, the time seemed right to build the facility.
“We are fortunate that we will not have to take on any bonded indebtedness to build the facility. Thanks to the college’s cash funds we will be able to fully fund the construction of the facility,” said Rizzuto.
Rizzuto explained that by building a Fitness Center that is attached to the gym, it will allow the college to convert some space, currently being used by a smaller fitness facility, into space for Career and Technical Education (CTE) program expansion.