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Gender-neutral areas coming to locker rooms at UA Rec center

Posted at 5:56 PM, Sep 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-16 23:38:35-04

Students who work out at the University of Arizona will soon be seeing big changes as the university is set to start construction on gender-neutral locker rooms. 

The renovation comes as a way for the school to make their locker rooms more inclusive. 

Starting next fall the recreation center will be adding gender-neutral areas where men and women could be changing next to each other. 

Officials at the recreation center say their locker rooms haven't been updated in more than 25 years. In addition to renovating the locker rooms, officials also wanted to include a space where families and members of the LGBTQ community could feel comfortable and safe. 

"They'll provide space for both males, females and then more private space for families, for our faculty that don't want to change or shower in front of students, and just in general provide a much more updated space," said John Lloyd, Interim Director at the Rec Center. 

Some students think the renovations will be a welcomed change. 

"I think it's a good thing I think it's important to have everybody feel comfortable here no matter what and there's still separate things so it's a win win for everyone," said freshman Megan Donaldson. 

The gender-neutral areas will be open for men and women to use together, which could lead to inappropriate behavior. 

"I could see how certain individuals might violate the idea behind the concept and I'm not really sure how they're going to monitor that," said alumna Leslie Daggy. "It is probably going to take a little bit of attention at first and maybe some additional resources to patrol it and make sure it's being utilized the way it's supposed to be."

Construction on the 5-million dollar project is expected to begin in the spring and be completed by next fall.