Campus gyms get rid of broken equipment

Incoming students may not have to experience the early morning rush to the gym to sign up for equipment that last year's students endured. The Rec Plex and the Rec Center have added several new and refurbished pieces of workout equipment to meet the increasing demand.

"There were a lot of people asking for new equipment," said Debbie Swanson, director of recreational sports.

Students weren't the only ones demanding new equipment — faculty, staff and community members also wanted new facilities.

A variety of new sports equipment will be added to both facilities including treadmills, elliptical machines, and bikes.

"These are a significant addition to our cardiac equipment," Swanson said.

The new equipment will be added to the already existing machines, increasing the amount of available equipment. There are now five treadmills in the Rec Center where there use to be three. Elliptical machines are also popular workout tools, so the Rec Plex has increased the number from three to five, and also added two new upright bikes. In addition, two new televisions were added to the entertainment system at the Rec Center.

Swanson said the increase in equipment will drastically change the amount of waiting time necessary to use equipment because there will be more for the students to use. Also, if a machine were to break down, it wouldn't cause too much of a problem with the additional machines.

Not every new piece of equipment will be up and running by the official start of the semester, but Swanson hopes they will be in place within a few weeks. The delay is due in part to the need to update the electrical system in order to accommodate the increase in machinery and also in part because some of the machines still haven't arrived.

"There is still plenty of equipment," Swanson said. "Certainly more than when the students left in May."

In addition to the sports equipment, two new weight machines were added to the Rec Plex and both workout facilities will be experimenting with new kinds of equipment throughout the semester, such as new types of bikes. If the students react positively, more similar equipment could be added to the collection, according to Swanson

"We are not spending the money we were given quickly, we are getting what people want," Swanson said.

The decision to buy new equipment came from a survey conducted at the early part of the spring semester, said John Kratzer, general manager of the Rec Plex. The survey, sent to a group of students, staff, and members of the local community that utilize the facility, found that more equipment was wanted to shorten waiting time for existing machines.