Tired of getting sand kicked in your face by bullies at the beach like the famous 97-lb. weakling? Has the Freshmen 15 ruined your waistline? Have you taken the term “couch potato” to a whole new level?
Don’t despair. According to Dean of Residential and Campus Life Sherrie Arey, good new is just around the corner. This summer will see the completion of the U of O’s physical fitness facility, a part of the annex being built onto the Seay Student Center.
The facility will include a 2,211 sq. ft. fitness area, complete with a wide array of work-out equipment ranging from cardio-building equipment like treadmills, stationary bikes, and stair-masters, to a full range of different weight machines. There will also be a small section of free weights. “The equipment is all computer-integrated so that users can track their progress,” said Arey. “With 10 sports and 180 athletes, there is a huge need to have adequate facilities. At the same time, people who just want to go in and get on the treadmill for awhile won’t have to deal with that aspect of it if they don’t want to. It’s all state of the art but user friendly.”
The center will be operated by student workers under the advisement of the athletic faculty and staff. “It is my hope that the student workers who run the facility with the guidance of professional staff will be knowledgeable enough about how the equipment works to help tell people what machines to use for their individual needs,” said Arey.
The annex will also include a 987 sq. ft. aerobics/yoga room. Director of Physical Education Activities Sally Wood said, “I have been teaching physical education and health for the past twenty years, and the new fitness center will be ideal for teaching a variety of classes – Tae Bo, Zumba Dance, Body Sculpting, Physical Fitness, Aerobic Fitness, Mind/Body Expressions, Yoga, Cheerleading, Weight Training, and Physical Wellness. It will have a nice wooden floor, making it perfect for these uses. It also has an adjoining storage area for yoga mats, small weights, etc.”
The annex also has two office spaces, and men and women’s handicap-accessible locker and shower rooms.
Dean Arey said she sees this annex, along with the fact the Seay Student Center will have WiFi in the fall, as making the student center an “all-in-one” “go-to” place in ways it has never been before. “You can have meals here, stick around, do homework, work out. And I’m hoping the new fitness center will make it more convenient for students to be healthier.”
Bo Funderburk, Assistant Director of Residential Life and Coordinator of Recreational Activities, said the new facility meets two central needs for the U of O. “I think this new facility gives students options they have not previously had. Right now the cardio equipment is limited to a single treadmill and one bike. The space is predominantly devoted to free weights. We have unintentionally segregated our female students and athletes simply due to lack of space and equipment. These machines for the female athletes more like what they would like working on and pay for a gym membership to use.”
Funderburk added the new space will solve that problem, and give students options for cardio-respiratory training that don’t involve waiting in lines. “The new treadmill, bikes, and elliptical machines bring us a truly well-rounded fitness center,” he said. “Additionally, Dr. Bruce Elmore and Prof. Brett Stone’s physical education classes will benefit from the fact the machines can be used for heart rate monitoring and track conditioning.”
He said Chad Floyd, the U of O’s certified athletic trainer, has been doing athletic re-hab work using a small office, but that will change now. “This new facility will help him out tremendously for re-hab,” Funderburk said.
Floyd was on the committee which helped narrow down the choices on the athletic equipment, along with chair Brett Stone, Bruce Elmore, Jimmy Clark, Sherrie Arey, and Funderburk. “We tried to put together a fitness center that would meet the needs of all individuals that would be using it,” Floyd said. “We have needed something like this for a long time and I will be glad to see it in use. With 10 sports and 180 athletes, there is a huge need to have adequate facilities.”
The center will use the card-access system for security reasons but be available to anyone on campus who needs it. It will be open for use for the fall 2011 semester.