A recreation, wellness center which would be jointly built and operated by Western Nevada Community College and Carson City garnered support Friday from the Nevada university system board of regents.
The vote by the regents includes $8 million for the project in the university system's capital improvement projects budget. That budget must be approved by the 2007 Legislature before the money can be spent.
Carson City has already voted to put about $8 million into the project.
WNCC President Carol Lucey said the health and wellness center would serve the needs of both the community and WNCC students.
"There are a lot of people in the community and on campus who need a lifelong focus on health and wellness," she said. "There's another way to do it than the medical model. There's the education model."
She said that while the city and WNCC are paying for the project, Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center will be the third partner, providing health education programs at the center.
The project will include an athletic training and fitness center, gym and "an aquatic element" along with physical education areas.
"That's excellent. I hope it gets funded next year. It's an excellent partnership," said Mayor Marv Teixeira.
City officials expect the project to take up to three years to complete.
The project has drawn some objections from area residents who say it would dramatically increase traffic in a residential area.
Joe and Mary Zeitchick, who live in the area, said the only access to the proposed site is already hazardous and that the center "could create massive traffic problems."
They said in a letter to regents the area can't absorb the estimated 800 added people the center would draw each day.
Regents approved the project with no discussion.
• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.