Students utilize new fitness center

Florida A&M University’s new fitness center opened for its first fall semester Monday.

The fitness center is equipped to provide students with necessary means to achieve physical health. And the fitness center staff said that students are getting their money’s worth. “All the money for the fitness center came from student fees,” said Sam Houston, director of facilities planning.

Houston said there was an $8.5 million budget for the construction of the new fitness center. The funds that students generated for six years were put into a lump sum. Houston said that student fees were the sole funding for development of the fitness center.

The facility, which covers 28,000 square feet, went under construction in October 2004. It opened its doors May 15 to students who remained in Tallahassee over the summer. The fitness center has a total of 195 exercise apparatuses for students to use.

There are 70 resistance stations, 75 cardiovascular machines and 50 stations for free weights across the fitness center’s three floors.

The trainers within the facility are prepared to equip each student upon request with a specialized program for whatever fitness goals they wish to accomplish.

“If you want to tone or build muscle mass, we can do whatever you want,” said Robert Brown, recreation program coordinator. Brown said the trainers can assist with whatever type of regiment students are looking for free of charge.

Brown explained that the equipment in the fitness center is color coordinated. In the event that students do not know what they want to work on, they can use the equipment grouped in a certain color and get a full body workout.

The main floor also contains a workout studio that can hold 120 people. There, the fitness center conducts aerobics, pilates and hip-hop classes.

Brown said the classes were “very popular” over the summer. cardiovascular equipment, squat racks and free weights can be found there as well.

The fitness center also has a juice bar where students can get healthy food such as salads and wraps along with smoothies and juices.

Classrooms are found on the top floor of the fitness center. There Brown will conduct instructional classes for students interested in recreational activities such as canoeing and fly fishing.

“We don’t want to throw any student into the woods and he/she doesn’t know what poison ivy is,” Brown said. The classes will explain the dos and don’ts of whatever environment the students are planning to enter.

The second level also has nutrition and massage specialists, along with more cardiovascular equipment.

Each cardiovascular apparatus is equipped with personalized televisions for the students to watch while working out.The bottom level is the location of lockers students can use while working out.

Brown said there will also be some “old-school” arcade games put in for the students as well.

The fitness center has received positive remarks from students who have worked out there. “I think this gym is 10 times better than the last fitness center at The Set,” said Jon Gonzalez, a 20-year-old business administration student from Washington D.C.

“I think it is exciting here on our campus having a fitness center,” said 26-year-old Ronald Archey Jr. The senior biology student from Youngstown, Ohio said he thinks the fitness center will bring a lot of attention to the school and its athletes.

“It is something for everyone to be proud of,” Archey said.Despite the fitness center opening, it is not 100 percent complete. Robert Carroll, director of recreation, said the second phase of the fitness center is still being designed and will take about two months to finish.

“In 2007, you ought to see the completion of the fitness center, phases one and two,” Carroll said. Phase two of the fitness center will incorporate two basketball courts along with two racket ball courts.

It will also hold spinning classes, which is a room of stationary bikes. The rock climbing wall, according to Carroll, should also be complete by 2007.