Construction workers at the Regional Health and Wellness Centre have had a great deal of company lately. When the Fitness Centre (PE156) and multi-purpose room (PE157) opened on Sept. 6, student backpacks became as common as hard hats in the new portion of the Wellness Centre.
“With its larger size and expanded hours, the Fitness Centre can accommodate more people than it has in the past. It used to close when classes were held there, but now it doesn’t have to,” says Manager, Facilities and Services (Sport and Recreation Services), Deb Marek.
The multi-purpose room and its synthetic Pulastic floor are also being put to good use for both academic and Sport and Recreation Services classes.
“The floor is made of the same material as the flooring that will be on the indoor track and the north court of the gym. Pulastic can be used for floor hockey, tennis and other activities that would be too hard on a wooden floor,” says Marek.
The Wellness Centre became even busier when the Ascent Climbing Centre opened on Sept. 25. Approximately 130 people used the climbing wall at least once during its first week of operation, and many more dropped in and made inquiries.
Since construction on the Wellness Centre is continuing until early January 2007, there will be noise and dust in the short term. “Whether it is access routes or new equipment in the Fitness Centre, things are constantly changing,” says Marek.
There have also been changes to the timelines for some of the new Wellness Centre facilities. The opening dates for the new triple gym and indoor track have been pushed back by a few weeks.
The south court of the gym will open mid-October, and centre court should be in use by the third week of October. The north court will be complete by the end of the month. The indoor track is expected to open to the public in mid-November.
As a result of the gym delays, some academic classes and Pronghorn basketball practices are being held off campus and Sport and Recreation Services intramurals have been delayed.
While there are some inconveniences, the many benefits of the Wellness Centre are now tangible to the people already enjoying the new facilities.
Many people will get their first look at the Wellness Centre at the Oct. 14 Convocation in the new gymnasium. (Since a mat is put on the floor for Convocation, it won’t matter if the wooden floors aren’t varnished.)
Everyone is asked to be patient during the final few months of construction. “We can see the light at the end of the tunnel now,” says Marek.
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