LU grants JC Parks land for outdoor fitness center, basketball courts

A new outdoor fitness center and basketball courts are in store for The Linc.

The Lincoln University Board of Curators approved a proposal last week for the Jefferson City Parks and Recreation Department to use land near The Linc to build two new basketball courts and a fitness center. Lincoln retains ownership of the land but is allowing JC Parks to use it for the new offerings.

The fitness center features a variety of MoveStrong equipment designed for muscle stretching, training and conditioning, including vertical stall bars, an angled balance beam, a T-REX 4-Post, a punching bag, and plyo steps.

The outdoor fitness center could be stationed at the corner of The Linc’s lower parking lot near the Stadium bridge. It will be entirely open and free to the public.

The area will use blue turf and the equipment will be painted to match Lincoln’s color schemes, University President John Moseley said.

JC Parks is covering the complete cost of the project, which is projected to be $108,445 for equipment and installation.

The outdoor basketball courts are more of a joint venture, in which the university and city will split costs, which are currently unknown.

Moseley said an architect is designing the basketball courts, which will be fenced and require a Linc membership to access. All LU students are members of The Linc through their student wellness fee.

Moseley said the university will be using funds generated from the student wellness fee to cover Lincoln’s portion of construction costs.

The outdoor basketball courts will be located at the north end of The Linc and only be open when The Linc is.

Jeff Turner, director of the university’s facilities and planning department, said there should be a room between The Linc and the Boys and Girls Club to carve out dirt, add a retaining wall and construct two basketball courts, and possibly the outdoor fitness center as well.

“We do prefer, if possible, to include the fitness center at that location,” Moseley said. “If not, it’ll be down by the greenway.”

The Linc often has people working out indoors in the winter and outdoors during warmer seasons, Moseley said, so it would make the most sense to put the outdoor fitness center near The Linc.

Curator Richard Callahan said stationing the city’s new fitness center on campus, although open for anyone, would be most convenient for students.

LU athletics likely wouldn’t use the facility, Moseley said, but it would benefit students, the ROTC program and the police academy.

“I do see it as a benefit to our campus,” Moseley said. “It’s another activity on campus — another option for activity on our campus for our students.”

“It’s a service to our students and to the community,” he continued.

Campus safety and retaining land ownership were priorities for Lincoln’s Board of Curators, which overwhelmingly approved the plans.

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