ARC renovations progress; scheduled to be completed Spring 2022

by Katelynn Robinson, Assistant News Editor

The Aztec Recreation Center expansion and renovation entered phase three of construction and is scheduled to be completed in Spring 2022. 

In March 2018 San Diego State students narrowly passed a referendum that would increase campus fees in order to fund the new gym and recreation space, and construction began in Spring 2020. 

The new ARC will boast state-of-the-art facilities while maintaining Associated Students’ commitment to sustainability. 

A.S. Recreation and Wellness Commissioner, Kole Wellenstein, said part of his role is to ensure student voices are heard throughout the planning, development and construction of the new ARC. 

“One of the big things that we have is the ARC will be the second LEED Double Platinum Certified building we’ll have on campus, which is one of the really really high sustainability goals that you can hit for a building,” Wellenstein said. “So that helps us continue our A.S. values of sustainability.”

The Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union is also LEED Double Platinum Certified. 

Another new and highly demanded aspect of the renovated ARC will be the incorporation of gender-neutral bathrooms. 

“So previously in the ARC it was only male and female restrooms but now we are going to have gender neutral, which was a big talking point for a lot of students when we were discussing the construction of the new ARC so that’s something that will be incorporated,” Wellenstein said. 

The new ARC will also boast an indoor track. 

“Working on some of the other A.S. committees I’ve heard one of the complaints is kind of safety in the neighborhood surrounding SDSU and with it being really dark lighting and people wanting to go out especially around daylight savings time,” Wellenstien said.

Other additions to the expansion include going from two to five exercise studios including a mat room and yoga studio. There will be a 40% increase in cardio and weight equipment as well as study spaces, eateries, and a renovated courtyard according to Wellenstien.

The ARC will shift from just a gym to a more inclusive and diverse center for several forms of recreation.

“For myself personally I think it is a really cool opportunity because in my opinion kind of like environmental wellness and physical wellness is a lot more than just working out, it is the environment you surround yourself with,” Wellenstein said. “It’s kind of just how you manage your self time everyday so that goes into mental.” 

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, SDSU was forced to send the majority of students home and close indoor operations at most facilities, including the ARC. However, this did not impact the renovations.

A.S. Director of Recreation, Mark Zakrzewski, said some of the larger construction operations were able to be pushed forward with the campus being largely deserted.

“The ARC construction project really hasn’t been affected at all because we’ve been able to continue with the project,” Zakrzewski said. “And with it being slower on campus and the ARC being closed for several months due to COVID we were able to pull some of the bigger stage work forward and make really good progress on the construction project.”

Although the university and A.S.’s budgets took a hit due to COVID-19, A.S. Vice President of External Relations, Armando Sepulveda II, said the project is financially stable. 

“The ARC renovations actually come out of the A.S. budget, and financially speaking, it’s a town project,” Sepulveda said. “There’s enough money that has been passed to complete the renovation and complete all the work within it. Our overall A.S. budget has taken a hit because the COVID-19 pandemic and the loss of revenue from outside sources such as the concert venues and the ARC use in general but overall this project is financially secure.”

The ARC construction can be watched on a youtube live stream at any time of the day. 

“I think it is an amazing idea to have people look at the construction process as it’s going live,” Sepulveda said. “Because one; it shows the progress that is being made and two; it gives us a form of accountability. It lets you know like we are actually keeping on task and we are doing everything we need to do.”

At this time the ARC has cardio and weight lifting equipment in the basketball and volleyball courts and is allowing a limited number of students to use that facility. The outdoor operations at the AquaPlex and at the ARC Express remain operational. Students can sign up for a time slot online at