SJSU Opens $130 Million Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center

Students and community members are invited to a ribbon cutting for the Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center on April 18. Photo by David Schmitz

Students and community members are invited to a ribbon cutting for the Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center on April 18. Photo by David Schmitz

Media contact: Robin McElhatton, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University will hold a grand opening ceremony for the new Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center (SRAC), a facility that provides new modern recreation facilities and services for students and the entire university community, on Thursday, April 18. San Jose State President Mary Papazian will be in attendance to welcome the campus community and share remarks.

Students can begin queuing east on San Carlos Street at 11:30 a.m. for the ribbon cutting, which will begin at noon. The first 4,000 students will receive an SRAC beach towel, cake, and light food, and will be able to enter a drawing for giveaways.

During the weeks before its grand opening, construction crews put the finishing touches on the Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center. Photo by David Schmitz

During the weeks before its grand opening, construction crews put the finishing touches on the Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center. Photo by David Schmitz

“This contemporary facility will provide another important gathering spot for our university community—especially our students—to recreate, swim, exercise and keep fit,” said Charlie Faas, SJSU vice president for administration and finance. “It was envisioned for and by students, and we are proud to continue providing them and our entire campus community with modern amenities both inside and outside the classroom.”

The facility, said Faas, features something for every student. There will be fitness classes, various sporting and recreation clubs, rock-climbing, pick-up game availability and other activities for all skill and fitness levels.

The SRAC offers a variety of features and amenities:

  • Five workout areas featuring 20,000 ft2 of cardio and strength equipment
  • Three full-court gyms for basketball, volleyball, and badminton
  • Four exercise studios for yoga, spin, Les Milles GRIT Strength training, and aerobics
  • 1/8-mile indoor track
  • Rock wall and bouldering area
  • 50-meter lap pool
  • Recreation pool with sundeck and barbecue area
  • Two casual lounges
  • Numerous exercise classes, and personal trainers
The new Spartan Recreation and Aquatics Center will include a variety of features and amenities for students as well as faculty, staff and community members with paid memberships. Photo by David Schmitz

The new Spartan Recreation and Aquatics Center will include a variety of features and amenities for students as well as faculty, staff and community members with paid memberships. Photo by David Schmitz

“The new Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center is more than a recreation center. The state-of-the-art, open, inviting design creates another key destination on campus (like the Student Union) for students to relax, socialize, and study,” said Cathy Busalacchi, ’76 Recreation, executive director for the Student Union, Inc. “It is a home away from home for all our students, including Clubs Sport teams, intramurals and the Athletics’ aquatic teams.”

Gensler, a world-renowned architecture firm, designed the new SRAC, with Hunt Construction serving as the general contractor. The 128,000-square-foot structure sits at the site that previously housed an aquatic center and two residence halls.

The $130 million project is funded through a non-tuition Student Union mandatory student fee, which covers the bond for construction, the annual operational costs, and any future major or minor maintenance repairs. In 2006, the university presented two fees, a Student Union mandatory student fee that funded the Student Union renovation and expansion (completed in 2016) and also funded the new SRAC project, and a Health Center fee that funded the Student Wellness Center (completed in 2015).

SRAC is free to all enrolled SJSU students. Paid memberships are available to faculty, staff, alumni and community members. Visit the Spartan Recreation website for more information.


About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

San Jose State to Build Recreational Field, Tribute to Speed City Legacy and Parking Garage

Media contacts
Lawrence Fan, SJSU Athletics media relations director, 408-924-1217, lawrence.fan@sjsu.edu
Robin McElhatton, SJSU media relations specialist, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

Bud Winter Field Track at 10th and Alma.

Future south campus.

San Jose State University will break ground in June on a project to build an intramural recreation field, walking path and multi-level parking garage at the university’s Bud Winter Field. San Jose State plans to build a special tribute at the site to honor those known as the “Speed City” athletes and their legendary track and field coach, Bud Winter.

The new recreational field will be used by thousands of San Jose State students. This field will be home to SJSU clubs, intramurals, ROTC practice, kinesiology classes, marching band practice, Greek life competition and other activities. A walking path around it will be open to the community members who currently use the Bud Winter Field track at South 10th Street and East Alma Avenue, which will be removed.

The university recently informed its track and field athletes that it cannot proceed with a previously announced plan to build a new track at the site, where some of its world-class Speed City athletes once trained. “After requesting proposals for construction of a track atop a planned multi-level parking structure, university administrators learned the track would cost up to $20 million more than originally anticipated, due to building-code changes,” said Charlie Faas, the university’s vice president of administration and finance. After learning of the higher-than-expected track cost, the university considered whether to build a replacement track at the university’s park-and-ride lot in the area—but the space was insufficient.

San Jose State’s Student Union, Inc. gave a $3 million donation: $2.5 million for track and field and $500,000 for a new softball field. When administrators learned that a track atop the proposed parking garage would cost far more than expected, the Student Union, Inc. donation was reallocated to be used for the intramural field, which will benefit a wide variety of students, Faas said.

“It was heartbreaking to me to realize that we wouldn’t have a new track facility,” said Marie Tuite, the university’s director of intercollegiate athletics. “As the enduring success of our athletics programs remain a key priority and a point of pride for the university and alumni, we are committed to sponsoring all 22 sport programs,” Tuite said. “We will continue to support and fund activity for our men’s and women’s track programs off campus.”

As the 51-year-old Bud Winter Field facilities have long fallen into disrepair, the men’s and women’s track teams have been practicing at San Jose City College for some time. “Our current goal is to secure a long-term agreement there or at another facility to ensure our track and field teams have a high-quality venue at which to practice and train for competition,” said Tuite.

History of SJSU’s Two Tracks: Bud Winter Field and 7th Street Track

Coach Bud Winter (left) and legendary John Carlos on the Bud Winter Field Track at 10th and Alma.

Before the Bud Winter Field was built in the late 1960s at South 10th Street and East Alma Avenue, Winter trained many world-class caliber athletes at another track, located nearby at South 7th and East Humboldt streets on the South Campus. “San Jose State’s track and field legacy gained a sprinter’s momentum when Bud Winter was named head coach in 1941. For three decades, he attracted record-setting athletes that were ranked among the best in the world. These athletes made Speed City famous competing at the old 7th Street track, later training and racing at Bud Winter Field on 10th Street and around the world for nearly 40 years,” said Lawrence Fan, the university’s athletics media relations director.

Years later, the Koret Athletic Training Center was opened in 2001 over a portion of the old 7th Street track, for use by San Jose State’s intercollegiate athletics program. That building also now houses the Jeff Garcia Hall of Champions, which honors all those inducted into San Jose State’s Sports Hall of Fame—including track and field stars.

The Simpkins Stadium Center also now covers a portion of the old 7th Street track, Fan said.

Bob Griffin (left), Coach Bud Winter, and Olympic gold medalist Tommie Smith at Spartan Track previously located at the corner of 7th and Humboldt.

Some Speed City athletes who qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team trained at Bud Winter Field in preparation for the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympics. Those Games are remembered in part for San Jose State track stars Tommie Smith, a gold medalist in the 200-meter dash, and John Carlos, a bronze medalist in the same event. They raised their fists atop the medals stand in Mexico City to protest racial injustice for African-Americans.

Today, the iconic sculpture of Smith and Carlos—with fists raised—represents a silent stand for human rights and is prominently located on the university’s main campus to honor their courage. Their athletics feats and others associated with the Speed City era are on display at the Jeff Garcia Hall of Champions inside the Koret Athletic Training Center and at the SJSU Special Collections and Archives in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library.

In addition to the Sports Hall of Fame displays located on South Campus and the sculpture of Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the main campus, San Jose State will continue to honor the Speed City athletes’ legacy by building a special tribute at the site where Bud Winter Field currently stands. The university’s track and field stars have demonstrated athletic excellence, and also made a stand for human and racial equality on the world stage.

“The ’60s was a time of civil unrest throughout this country,” Tuite said. “The actions of the men’s track and field athletes served as a benchmark for social justice and for belief in human equality. SJSU athletes led the movement in the ’60s, and that moment has stood the test of time. This university was built on their voices of democracy, fairness, inclusion and love—and we will honor those voices every single day.”

A Plan for Multi-level Parking Garage

San Jose State has approximately 20,000 commuters who drive to campus each day. With only 5,121 parking spots in three on-campus parking garages and approximately 1,200 parking spots on campus surface lots, there is a real and existing parking challenge. The proposed multi-level parking garage will provide 1,530 new parking spaces which will offer much-needed parking for students, faculty and staff. In addition, the new structure will raise money from parking fees paid by fans of the San Jose Giants minor league baseball team and by those who use the Solar4America Ice venue, also known as “Sharks Ice,” near the university’s south campus, Faas said.

Pending completion of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) study and final approval, construction of this new facility is scheduled to begin in June 2019 and is expected to open in the fall of 2020.


About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study—offered through its eight colleges. With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce. The university is proud of the accomplishments of its more than 270,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

About San Jose State Athletics

San Jose State sponsors 22 (nine men’s and 13 women’s) NCAA Division I intercollegiate sports programs for approximately 470 student-athletes annually. In football, the Spartans are a member of Division I’s Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the NCAA’s highest level of competition.

The Spartans’ primary conference affiliation is with the Mountain West. Selected teams belong to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and the Golden Coast Conference (GCC).

San Jose State has 10 NCAA team championships and 52 NCAA individual titles. Sixty-two (62) Spartans competed in one or more Olympic Games. San Jose State athletes have won seven gold, six silver and seven bronze medals at the Olympics.

Annually, about one-third of the student-athlete population earns either institutional, conference or national recognition based on outstanding academic performance.

Spartans at Work: Great America

(This summer, SJSU Today hit the road, visiting students and recent grads on the job at summer destinations throughout the Bay Area. Our 2013 Spartans at Work series begins with recreation alumnus Ryan Davies.)

Taking clients on Gold Striker, Great America’s newest ride, and pricing and promoting the amusement park’s Halloween Haunt are a few of the many projects Ryan Davies, ’07 Recreation, is working on this summer.

As group sales area manager, Davies develops print and sales collateral, coupon programs and signage for the park. He also oversees corporate accounts, the call center and the park’s ticketing system.

“My favorite part about my job is that I get to get out from behind my desk and go into the park and see people have fun,” Davies said.

Davies started in 2003 as a ride operator for Xtreme Skyflyer and worked his way up to seasonal managerial roles. Once he graduated from SJSU, his bosses suggested he interview for an administrative role.

This summer, Davies is helping market the new Gold Striker, Northern California’s tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster, standing 108 feet high and soaring at 53.7 MPH.

Davies’ time at Great America taught him about the ins and outs of the amusement park industry and about his potential.

“I just try to push myself to the next level and try to learn everything I can,” Davies said.

A recently added marketing role is helping him grow professionally.

“It’s really important that you work somewhere you want to be and you enjoy what you do,” Davies said.

As an SJSU student, Davies learned about time management and multitasking. He encourages students to take advantage of opportunities made available to students and to get involved on campus.

“I truly attribute where I am to some of the activities I joined,” Davies said.