Renovated Fitness Center Features More Space for Free Weight Training

Students returned this fall to a Vince Lombardi quote freshly painted on the walls of the newly refurbished fitness center: “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” The message was just one of the changes made to the training room during the month of August.

With the aerobic and strength machines relocated to the Case Memorial Cage and Smith Center respectively, the refurbished fitness center transformed into a more spacious and modernized space, featuring more room for free weight training and movement. The renovation also included new flooring.

“The fitness center had been scheduled for new flooring and paint over the summer. However, the [Senior Administrative Council] and Trustees recognized the importance of the fitness center to the community and decided to take the opportunity, while the facility was offline, to provide a more comprehensive update of the space,” wrote Larry Muench, Director of Facilities, in an email to The Phillipian.

Leon Modeste, Athletics Director, said that creating more space in the fitness center for movement and free weight training reflected the current trend in athletic facilities.

“I think [the renovation] will allow our high-level Varsity athletes to do what they need to do to prepare for that, but it will also be friendly enough… so young Juniors under the instruction of our [Physical Education] staff can go in there and feel comfortable as well. I think it can just hit everybody, from 60-year-olds like me, to new Juniors,” he continued.

Johnny Rex ’17 said, “I think these changes will definitely encourage more students to work out because the [fitness center] is less cluttered…and you can go in and do your own thing. Before we had really limited free space to stretch or workout.”

The relocated spinning bikes, which now all face the mirror, have helped Peyton McGovern ’16 concentrate better during her workouts.

“Since I’m injured, I’ve been spinning a lot. With the bikes all facing the mirror, it’s easier to focus. If you want to check your form, it’s easier to just see how you’re doing,” she said.

After converting the former gymnasium to the fitness center in 1992, the center has not seen any major renovations since the late 1990s.

Peter Currie, President of the Board of Trustees, along with the Office of Physical Plant (OPP), extended funding to cover the cost of the project, which was over $100,000.

“The funding was specially approved by our board for this renovation. The room, however, has always had an endowment so you could always get one or two [new machines] every year. We have enough endowment to the center that we can keep it current,” said Modeste.

A committee consisting of students (including two of last year’s Varsity captains, Tim Bulens ’15 and Elizabeth Kemp ’15), members of the Athletics Department, OPP, Office of Communication and the Head of School’s office oversaw and finalized the details of the project.