Committee approves recommendation

James Heggen

The Special Student Fee and Tuition Committee unanimously approved a recommendation for the proposed $52.8 million in recreation renovations.

The recommendation will be given to ISU President Gregory Geoffroy, who will make the next ruling on the proposal. If approved, the plan will then to go to the Board of Regents.

If the proposal gets to the point of regents approval, the final step will be a search for the project’s architect. Warren Madden, chair of the committee and vice president of business and finance, said students will be able to provide input if the proposal reaches its final step. He said that even If the Regents vote in favor, that would only “approve the proceeding with the planning.”

Madden said the committee discussed the outcome of the student referendum, including the comments that were received. Along with the student voice, the committee also considered the Government of the Student Body and Graduate and Professional Student Senate resolutions and decided to continue with the project.

Madden said the slim margin of support from students was also discussed.

“At least at this point, there’s not unanimous support, but it’s the majority of the people,” he said.

Because of this, the committee felt it appropriate to move forward with the planning stages.

Madden said some of the comments from the referendum questioned the need for some of the proposed features.

“I think we’ll consider all of that in the next stage of planning and consider what, if any, changes are appropriate and what’s included in the facility,” he said.

The voice of the student body is an issue the committee will continue to focus on.

“Students will continue to have an opportunity to provide input into the plan, and it could be modified in that process,” he said.

GSB President Brian Phillips, a member of the Special Student Fee and Tuition Committee, and senior in political science, said a major concern he had was that the student referendum passed by such a narrow margin. He said a major theme of the discussion at the meeting was how the process would involve students, such as helping in the process of selecting an architect.

The GSB resolution supporting the renovations passed by a vote of 17-5-1, while the GPSS resolution failed by a vote of 20-25. A student referendum supporting the renovations narrowly passed by 272 votes, with 52.1 percent of the vote.

Phillips said everyone in the room already had knowledge of the project.

“The discussion was more directed towards what happens next,” he said.

Mike Harvey, director of recreation services, was satisfied with the result.

“Just very pleased with the students and the staff members that are part of the Special Student Fee Committee meeting,” he said.

Harvey also addressed the closeness of the vote.

“We can either incorporate the concerns or address the concerns through further education or additional education to make sure people are as comfortable as possible as the project moves forward,” he said.

He said student input will continue to be gathered in the remainder of the process.