The call for new fitness facilities has finally been answered.
For years, there has been talk about the desire for new/better gym and fitness facilities on campus. For years there have been rumblings about potential plans for such an enterprise, but never anything finalized.
Construction of the new facility will begin with the next couple of months, and is projected to be completed within the 2013-14 academic year.
Back in the fall, on September 22nd, the “Start an Evolution Campaign” kicked off, new fitness facilities for students, faculty and staff at UBC’s Okanagan campus were officially approved and funded via Kelowna Flight Craft, according to Campus Recreation coordinator Layne McDougall.
“The Hangar”—so termed for its funding source—is the early and prevalent nickname for the coming facility expansion that will include two different floors and will attach to the existing gym building. The full details and plans have yet to be released, but will at least include two fitness studios on the lower floor, “one larger one for combative sports, yoga and dance, one for spin bikes, etc.,” according to Layne. Extra storage space will also be on the lower floor. The second floor will have approximately 5000 square feet of available usage, and will be used for strength training and cardio equipment facing the east and north section, and free weights and weight machines on the west side.
There will be one main entrance from the second floor of the existing gym that will include a bridge into the new facilities. The current stairwell adjacent to the side entrance to the gym will be removed, and much of the area immediately surrounding the gym, including bits of the loop near the rear parking lot, will be re-done with new pathways and grass, etc.
Commenting on the expansion, Layne added that “we want it to be a very welcoming, friendly, fitness oriented environment. It’s a social vehicle.”
On how it will impact fitness and recreation services on campus, she also added that “[it]changes my life as a fitness coordinator. Space is a premium on this campus and areas like the UNC ballroom is where we’re currently doing all of our fitness programming, and then it becomes a point of contention when someone wants to use it for a banquet.”
Among many positives to having new facilities and equipment, the expansion will also provide more work opportunities for students. “It will create more student employment: fitness instructors, personal trainers, etc.”
There is no official word for what will become of the current weight and cardio rooms. It has been mentioned, however, that future plans may include specialized weight training and/or certain facilities for student athletes. Nothing, though, has been confirmed as of press date.