By Melissa Reed
One by one, students walked into the College’s new Fitness Center, located in Campus Town, with their sporting gear, gym bags and water bottles, flashing their College ID cards to the desk worker.
The sun had barely risen, but a few students were already in the Fitness Center. Some students watched TV, others listened to their music and a few read their books while working out on the gym’s up-to-date equipment.
“One of the goals of Campus Town was to enlarge the old Physical Enhancement Center from its original 3,500 square feet and make it more competitive with our peers,” College spokesperson Dave Muha wrote in an email.
According to students, Campus Town’s new Fitness Center has improved the quality and condition of the College’s “outdated” Physical Enhancement Center, which was formerly located in Packer Hall.
“The old gym was much smaller and everything was stuffed into the room,” said senior psychology major Kristina Koskinen, one of nine student managers at the Fitness Center. “It’s also just a lot healthier because you can actually breathe the air in here, and in the old gym, it (got) really stuffy.”
Other students agree with Koskinen that the new Fitness Center is an improvement from the Physical Enhancement Center.
“The gym is better, the facilities (are) a lot larger, there’s more equipment here and it’s better for what we’d like to do here,” said senior history and secondary education dual major Jimmy Gill, an associate worker at the Fitness Center.
The innovation of the Fitness Center caters to two different types of students — those who don’t mind the trek across campus and those who think the Fitness Center is too far away.
“The gym is convenient for students who live in Campus Town or in the apartments (Hausdoerffer and Phelps), but for students who live in the Townhouses or in the Towers (Travers and Wolfe), it’s not, because we have to walk very far,” senior business management major Esther Osei said. “With the old gym, it was in the middle of campus so it was more convenient for everyone.”
Osei said that she only attends the Fitness Center twice a week, compared to the five days per week she attended the Physical Enhancement Center, because it is too far from where she resides on campus.
“The College picked the building because of its physical location in relation to the campus and the size because it met the needs,” said PRC Group Vice President Greg Lentine, whose company is overseeing Campus Town.
However, the new Fitness Center does not meet the needs of every student.
“Even though it’s more room in general, it (has fewer) weights, which doesn’t make any sense,” senior biology major Kendrick Abad said. “I like the old gym better. (In the new gym), there’s no room for free weights and there’s only one squat rack.”
Abad also expressed discontent with the quality of the machines in the Fitness Center.
“Most of the machines here don’t have height adjustment, so if you don’t fit the height requirement, you can’t use the machines,” Abad said.
Other students agree that the Fitness Center can improve on the spacing of the gym and the quality of the equipment, as well.
“It can still be a lot bigger, there could be more of one machine, like the back squats machine,” senior business management major Taiwo Akinmboni said. “If it (had) more of those machines, it would be much better.”
Although the students showed their gratitude for the improvements of Campus Town’s Fitness Center compared to the Physical Enhancement Center, they also expressed that this gym’s layout needs to improve.
“It’s spaced weirdly, there’s unnecessary spacing (and) there’s a big, weird walkway,” Abad said. “The gym can improve on its spacing.”
Although the College aimed to build a larger fitness facility that could serve the student population, it appears as if some students are not entirely satisfied.