Proposed Weight Room Expansion


One of the hot topics on campus these days is the possibly expansion of the weight room. You may have seen wrestlers or other athletes going around lately asking for signatures on their petition to expand, as well as members of our student government, who are hoping to receive some student input on the idea. Some may be wondering how the idea of expansion came about, considering the fact that the weight room was just moved into another space this past summer. However, not only is the new space smaller than the previous weight room area, it was only moved “to create lab and office space for the Health, Exercise Science and Sport Management department,” as stated by Tamie Falk, the Athletic Director. The reason the current room was chosen was because it has the potential for expansion.

The expansion would include knocking down the wall between the current weight room and the racquetball court to create the extra space, along with adding some windows to the outer wall. The need for new equipment is also high, as some of the machinery is over ten years old and barely hanging on. The weight room has already had to replace many of the machines that could no longer be repaired. “The new area will give us greater space to increase our cardio equipment options, new cable machines and a free weight area with mirrors. This should allow us to meet more of our diverse student body needs. The second floor will have an open area for further cardio equipment and then another room similar to our dance studio,” said Tamie Falk. The expansion would also relieve some of the congestion that has been noticed and lower safety risks that may come about due to that congestion amongst the users of the weight room.

“Our students deserve an appropriate fitness area to workout. We should be just as concerned about our student’s fitness as we are about their intellectual growth,” added Tamie Falk. “All these changes will assist us to keep our current students and attract future students to our campus.”

One of the main issues with the expansion is the fact that the cost, approximately $1.5 million, would be paid (bonded over a ten year period) by adding $36 onto every student’s tuition per year. Currently, full time students pay $960 a year in segregated fees, with this cost added to that if the expansion were to go through. Unfortunately, no sponsor has come forward to help with the economic situation at hand and our student government is “unfavorable of the idea of funding a project solely through student fees when other avenues have not yet been explored,” as stated by PSG President Dana Calamia. Some students, though, do not feel that the extra money tacked onto tuition is an unreasonable amount, especially considering the changes that the new weight room would bring. New equipment and bigger space is exactly what a lot of students have been looking for for some time now.

If the expansion were to go through, the goal would be to begin construction this summer and have the facility ready to open by January 2012. The new weight room would still be open to all students; whereas faculty, staff, alumni, and community members would be required to purchase a membership.

If students would like more information on the expansion they can contact Tamie Falk at tamie.falk-day@uwp.edu.

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