By Emily Senger
Students who plan to use the Fitness and Lifestyle Centre to tone up or slim down for swimsuit season in the next couple months will find themselves pumping iron in the racquetball court.
Major fitness centre renovations are underway as of Mon., May 16. To accommodate users, weights and cardio equipment have been moved temporarily to four courts in the Racquet Centre. The renovations were sparked by a student vote in favour of increasing Campus Recreation fees during the 2005 Students’ Union General Election.
The renovations should be complete by mid to late July, increasing space from 7,000 to 10,500 square feet on the main floor of the fitness centre. Mark Eckert, Associate Director of Campus Recreation, said the expansion should solve overcrowding.
“There is no question these renovations are needed,” said Eckert. “Hopefully, when the renovations are completed there will be no need to sign up for equipment, and hopefully students will not be told you can’t come in.”
Eckert said during the summer months as few as 500 students use the fitness facilities per day, making the spring session an ideal time to complete renovations.
Aaron Zarusky, an education student who uses the fitness centre facilities three times per week, says she is willing to put up with minor annoyances while the renovations are underway.
“It’s really hot and a little cramped,” said Zarusky as she pedaled on a stationary bike in the centre’s temporary Racquet Centre home. “But, I’ll take this in hopes of the new workout facilities.”
In addition to the space increase, the new Fitness and Lifestyle Centre will have more cardio equipment, a “Zen Room” for yoga and Pilates classes, a new stretching area, and 1,300 additional square feet on the second floor. The weight room supervision will also be moved to the centre of the new fitness centre, and an automated access control system will replace the current wrist band registration system.