Fitness Center reopens after weeks-long closure

The redesigned Fitness Center reopened on June 3, offering a new layout to make it easier for groups to exercise together. Photo by Madeline Ambrose | Mercury Staff.

After three weeks wrapped in caution tape, the doors to the Fitness Center have reopened to reveal new carpeting, restructured machinery and a modernized facility.

Over the past year, University Recreation has undergone a series of renovations from refurbished roofing and new gym partitions to the recently- completed carpeting in the fitness center. Additionally, UREC instituted a series of new projects to help the activity center become a more cost-effective and welcoming environment. Director of UREC Tricia Losavio said the updates stemmed from a rebranding and a desire to embrace a more comprehensive perception of exercise.

“About a year ago, we decided to change our name from Recreational Sports to University Recreation because we felt that University Recreation was a more holistic approach to what we do,” she said. “We do health and wellness…and we’re more than just sports. So we got permission to change our name (to UREC) and that prompted us to start looking at the facility.”

Losavio said the upgrade she is most proud of is the remodeling of the fitness center and weight room which, in addition to receiving flooring, also saw a new exercise machine layout. The design starts with a “beginner’s area” and then moves to more advanced machinery, promoting a well-rounded workout and allowing friends to more easily exercise together.

“The design is more intentional to where it’s not just a row of treadmills and then a row of cross-trainers and then a row of bikes. And the concept behind that is, most people, when they go work out with friends, not everybody is going to want to run that day,” Losavio said. “Whereas if you cluster the pieces together, you may be able to work out as a group and not be separated from your friends.”

In addition to its facility enhancements, UREC is now offering programs such as free intro-to-weight classes and personalized tours for incoming international students to better familiarize new Comets with what the Activity Center has to offer. Losavio said that so far, the response has been positive, with students posting words of support across UREC’s social media. Computer engineering graduate Madhumitha Shankar voiced her approval of the recent changes.

“Personally, I feel it’s really great because it has become really spacious. It is way more organized than before,” Shankar said. “People are finding it difficult to find the machines from where they used to be before but I think that’s something they will get used to with time.”

Though no more major renovations are planned for the near future, Losavio said she hopes to continue making improvements wherever she can to create a facility that all students can enjoy.

“We’re grateful for their support and their patience during some of these growing pain projects, and we like their comments and their feedback,” Losavio said. “We can’t get all the equipment that we want but we definitely try to get as much as we can so that way everyone can enjoy their workout while they’re here.”

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