October 28, 2003

Livin' It Up

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Water parks? Jacuzzis? Recently, these amenities have been making their debuts on college campuses nationwide. The appearance of such luxuries is a product of the competition to lure the best and brightest students, and has become present in universities across the country: from the University of Houston to right here at Cornell.

Colleges are spending as much as $140 million to add features that include golf simulators, indoor batting cages, ropes courses, and climbing walls big enough for 50 people simultaneously. Students can now receive pedicures, manicures, and massages while at school. According to a recent New York Times article on the subject, one college is even planning to add a water park, complete with water slides, a meandering river and something called a wet deck — a flat, moving sheet of water so that students can lie back and stay cool while sunbathing.

Cornell also is about to offer more pleasantries. The West Campus renovations — a $259 million endeavor — include a brand new Noyes Community and Recreational Center, complete with a caf