Officials say recreation center’s completion to occur in March

The opening of Florida A&M University’s new recreation center in late March, according to campus recreation staff, is designed to complement the fitness needs of faculty, staff and students.

In October 2004, the new recreation center began its construction. The date of substantial completion was marked on Jan. 10, which means that 90 percent of the construction was done and the property would be turned over to the school.

“Thirty days from that date we should be 100 percent,” said Robert D. Carroll, the campus recreation director. Carroll added that only small things need some improvement. He also said the building has to be equipped and furnished.

“We should get our equipment in by mid-January,” Carroll said.

Along with the equipment, which will be placed in the building, the recreation staff must be trained in procedures, such as fire drills and other emergencies.

Carroll emphasized that we “need to have this thing down packed.” He said he does not want any element of risk once the recreation center is complete.

“We need to make sure or staff is competent,” the director added.

Carroll explained that the center plans to be equipped with the “newest equipment” and the “newest technology.”

“The building is primarily designed for fitness,” Carroll said.

The recreation center is scheduled to have a 42-foot rock climbing wall, a smoothie bar, men and women’s locker rooms, as well as a place to check out equipment.

Slated services include massages, nutritional consultation, and aerobics classes that would include Yoga, Pilates, martial arts, and hip-hop.

“If you go to any spa you wouldn’t get any of these amenities,” Carroll added.

Carroll also explained along with personal fitness and nutrition “people will get a greater involvement in intramural sports.”

Carroll said that those who come to the center will be exposed to instructional sports programs, such as golf and tennis.

“It is going to be the best in the city,” exclaimed Carroll.

He said he believed it would be a great rallying point for all people. He in included it will also “keep a core of our supporters close to the university” since many of them only come to the university for football or basketball games.

The staff of FAMU’s current fitness center is enthusiastic about the opening of the new recreation center as well. Yero Smith, senior fitness instructor, said he believes that “it’s a good thing for our program to move into the building.”

“I believe it will help facilitate priority interests in how African-Americans involve themselves in fitness,” Smith said. Smith also thinks that with the new facilities they may be able to better accommodate women’s fitness needs.

“Space,” exclaimed Harvey Hagins. The best thing about the new recreation center “first and foremost is space” said Hagins, the outdoor adventures program specialist and photographer for campus recreation.

Hagins said he is looking forward to the rock climbing wall. Along with the wall, Hagins said he believes that the recreation center will give the students “something to do that they haven’t done before.”

These new experiences will bring more students to work out, said Hagins.

“Word of mouth” is what will really bring a lot of people to come and check out the new recreation center, said Hagins. They will want to “know by doing.”

Carroll said he knows the course of action for the students that choose not to workout on campus and venture to other gyms: “They are going to come home.”

Contact Anthony Anamelechi at