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New fitness center exceeding expectations

Sports Writer

Published: Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 17:09

fitness center image

Photo by Matt Crosby/ Prospectus news

Buddy Daly, sophomore in Kinesiology, works out in the Parkland Fitness Center weight room. Daly said he spends approximately 10 hours a week in the gym. The new facility features several weight lifting machines, free weights, treadmills and an elevated track for walkers and joggers.

New fitness center exceeding expectations

Mark Roughton

Sports Writer

The new fitness center that recently opened on the north end of campus has become a real hit with athletes, students and teachers alike.

Usage of the fitness center has reached its limit for the fall semester only a couple of weeks into the year, something that was rare in the past.

The kinesiology classes that use the center, including KIN 103, 147, 203, and 247 are no longer accepting students.

For those students that aren’t in a kinesiology based course, WAC 650 is offered. This is basically a gym membership fee.

Unfortunately, those are all taken as well. Parkland has stopped accepting registrations due to over 550 students registering for fall semester workout privileges.

Head Baseball Coach Matt Kennedy also serves as the Fitness Center Director.

“My main objective right now is to walk the floor making sure it stays clean and in order,” Kennedy said. “Also help people through lifts and make sure they’re doing things the right way.”

The load is lighter for Kennedy now that assessment and orientations for the students enrolled in those classes is completed.

 “The biggest thing about the fitness center is the extra space,” he replied. “It’s a lot bigger, a lot cleaner, and the equipment is top of the line, brand new equipment.”

As far as junior college facilities go, it’s one of the best out there.

“What I’ve seen is it’s brought in a wide variety of people,” he mentioned.

The center includes a much wider variety of free weights, more advanced weight machines and over 40 pieces of cardio equipment for those who like to get their running in.

If you’re not a stationary runner, it also includes a second-story indoor walking/running track. However, it is currently undergoing changes at the moment.

“The walking track has been removed and will be replaced by a new surface sometime in the near future,” Athletic Director Rod Lovett explained. “At the present time, the surface is cement so you may continue to walk on it until the new surface arrives and is ready to be installed.”

For those currently enrolled in the classes, signs will be posted for start and completion days of installation for the new track surface.

Despite the changes, the track is still available for use.

“A lot of faculty and staff just take their laps. They can walk the track for 25-30 minutes and get out of here,” Kennedy explained. “It’s been a nice addition.”

Not only have students and faculty benefited from this new facility, but the athletics program also received a boost.

“I think there are advantages for all sports,” Kennedy said. “It gives the trainers more opportunity to put our athletes through more of a rigorous workout. From the baseball end, it has been great. We’re getting all 30 of our guys in at one time.”

Parkland College strength training is beginning to elevate to an entire new level thanks to the addition of the fitness center.

Those interested in signing up for spring semester should not procrastinate.

“As soon as you sign up for spring classes, you need to sign up for this one,” Kennedy explained. “If you wait until December you may be out of luck.”

The Fitness Center’s hours are 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Saturday, and 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. on Sunday.

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