(Photo / University Relations)
Troy University’s new $22 million fitness center opened for students on Jan. 8, offering a variety of fitness amenities and more features to come as the year goes on.
Shane Tatum, Troy University’s director of health and wellness, said the opening was a great success and that the facility and its staff are settling into smoother operations.
“The reaction from the students has been nothing but extraordinary,” Tatum said. “They’ve liked the facility itself, they’ve liked the design, they’ve liked the amenities that we’ve put in it.
I think they’re starting to really enjoy themselves.”
The new facility features around 95 pieces of equipment, two basketball courts, an elevated track and special rooms for exercise classes and group programs.
Students are allowed access with fobs, such as those used for residence halls. Fobs can be reprogrammed or given to students for free at the front desk of the fitness center with a student ID.
Nearly 2,500 fobs were programmed on the first day the fitness center was open, Tatum said — and that’s not counting students who arrived after fob programming closed for the day.
Many students also came to try out group fitness programs now being offered.
Classes featured as the year goes on will include body toning, functional fitness, yoga, pilates, aerobics and spin and cycle courses.
Most instructors for classes will be students working as contractors for the university, so program fees will go toward covering their pay.
“We’re just trying to cover the cost of the instructors we hired, but we’re not trying to charge what the industry standard is,” Tatum said. “I’ll promise you every fee structure will be comparable to what a student can afford, and it won’t be something that’s outrageous.”
Administration is still developing fee structures for the classes being held, but “pop-up” classes are already being offered to give students the option to try classes before fee structures are set up, said Terry Fuller, Troy’s fitness and wellness coordinator.
“They’re (students are) very excited about the fitness classes because they haven’t really had the opportunity,” Fuller said. “I want to know what the students want.
“I’m doing pop-up classes to give glimpses of certain styles and asking for feedback.”
Students can check for pop-up classes at the front desk of the fitness center, and instructors will allow students in on a first-come, first-served basis.
Virtual group exercise programs and software to apply for programs online are also expected to be developed in the coming months.
Also a pool is under construction and should be completed “within the next month,” according to Tatum.
A road in the fitness center parking lot connecting University Avenue and John M. Long Avenue is also expected to be finished as weather permits.
The facility is only open to students at this time, but Tatum said Troy’s administration might consider opening it to faculty and staff and the community at a later date once all construction is complete and schedules are in place
Tatum urged students to come and visit the new fitness center — students with questions can be given a tour and assistance from staff members..
“Everybody is cross-trained, so everybody has a little bit of information about everything,” Tatum said.
“If they can’t answer it (a question), they will find someone who can answer it.”
The fitness center is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and 1-8 p.m. on Sunday.