From the first day the doors opened at Florida A&M’s Hansel E. Tookes, Sr. Recreation Center, director Robert Carroll had one goal in mind – to reel in the alumni.
His quest to have more alumni utilize the $9 million state- of- the- art facility has been fulfilled. Alumni membership at the recreation center is at an all-time high since the facility began operations.
“We’ve had a steady increase in alumni membership annually since we opened the facility back in 2006,” Carroll said. “One of the main reasons why more and more alumni are gaining membership is because it’s very affordable. Our alum pay an annual fee of $150 and I think it’s ideal for our faculty and alums.”
Moreover, several alumni revealed that they are very pleased with the facility, but most importantly the young staff. FAMU alumni and current kindergarten teacher Danita Wooten said that she mainly credits the leadership and staff for her membership and daily usage of the recreation center.
“Mr. Carroll and his staff are really friendly and caring,” Wooten said. “The students here always come over and lend a helping hand if they see that assistance is needed. I also love the facility because the overall atmosphere is nice and the facility is always clean.”
Wooten also mentioned that she encourages more alumni to take the initiative and purchase memberships. “The recreation center really gives alum the chance to interact with other alum and meet many nice people in the process,” Wooten said.
“I told my colleague and fellow alum about the facility and how I lost over 16 pounds. Now she is very excited and now she is scheduled for a tour to come and check it out.”
Many other alumni who have been utilizing the recreation center since its days downstairs from the student union, say that the center allows you to get a full work out with the amount of equipment provided, unlike the old recreation center.
“FAMU recreation has come a long way,” said alumnus John Cotton. “The new facility that we have available to us now allows you to use many different machines for your cardio that we didn’t have in the old facility years back. The Rattlers today are really fortunate because when we were in school we didn’t have access to such a unique facility.”
Joseph Ramsey, a FAMU alumnus and recreation center planning committee member, added that this facility is an excellent opportunity for alumni, faculty, students and staff to take advantage of. “Since we first opened the recreation center it has been nothing but a win for us,” Ramsey said.
He also said that colleagues and fellow students should let others know about the quality of the recreation center. “A lot of people are finding out about the state-of-the-art-facility and when they actually come down and see it they are really excited,” Ramsey said. “They just don’t know that they have access to one of the best recreational facilities around right under their finger tips.”