By: Lauren Garabedian
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – The Kiernan Recreation Center has been approved for a three to one grant from the Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program. This means that a plan will be created to improve the facility, hopefully by the year 2022.
“This grant, from my understanding will be used for structural purposes and not for equipment,” Derek Puff, Director of Recreation, Intramurals and Club Sports said. “The new development would benefit Division I sports, Campus Recreations and initially anyone that uses Kiernan.”
According to the The Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program website, otherwise known as HECAP, provides $300 million grants to finance projects at New York State colleges. These projects can range from design, reconstruction, new equipment and more in any type of college buildings. This basically means that Niagara University will be putting money towards hiring architects to create an estimate for the initial plan that will be 18,000-square-foot, with a two-floor expansion in the back of the Kiernan Recreation Center.
“Nothing is finalized yet, there is still a lot of planning to do,” he said. “The plan as of right now is moving the dance studio, and upstairs fitness center into a new area.” Puff elaborated. “The new space will be an athletics area, with locker room space, training space, and more.” If affordable, the school will provide a minimum of $4 million towards this project and then the HECAP will reimburse the school $1 million after the project is complete. The grant requires that the school invest at least $4 million in the project in order to receive the one million reimbursement.
“It’s good to see the University interested in putting that amount of money into the Kiernan Recreation Center,” Brady Siwek, a graduate student in marketing, said. “A lot of students, whether they live off-campus, like me or on-campus, spend a good amount of time in Kiernan and to expand it would only be beneficial for everyone.” The grant is very generic on what the money can be put towards. Whether an expansion on Kiernan or even a renovation, the students and faculty can expect a more evolved recreational center by the next two to three years.