Kent State Adds New Fitness Center for On-Campus Residents
Kent State University's Recreational Services and Residence Services departments have collaborated to open a new fitness facility in the Tri-Towers Rotunda, exclusively for on-campus residents.
The 7,000-square-foot Tri-Rec includes more than 70 brand-new exercise machines and free weights. The space, which previously housed an architecture studio, also includes a laundry facility and tutoring rooms.
“We have really been starting to get a lot of support behind health and wellness from the university, especially under the new president,” says Steven Langdon, marketing coordinator for the Department of Recreational Services. “The new Kent State of Wellness initiative was almost like the driving force behind this. We knew we had the support of the university.”
Langdon says Tri-Rec is centrally located, which adds value for students who live on campus. Kent State’s campus-resident fitness center project is comparable to that of other, similarly sized universities, which also have multiple facilities throughout campus.
“It’s about 100 yards from my dorm, whereas the other one is about half a mile,” says Eric Rohrabaugh, junior exercise science major. “So it’s more convenient to get a workout in here before class.”
Kent State alumnus and former recreational services employee Bryan Knapp is now with G&G Fitness, the company that supplied all of the equipment for Tri-Rec. He and Ben Cope, assistant director of fitness and wellness at Kent State's Department of Recreational Services, shared the vision for the Tri-Rec facility.
“We had a personal connection with Bryan, and because of that, we were really proud to move forward with him and confident that he would provide the best equipment for us,” Langdon says.
Langdon hopes that students will be more motivated to start an exercise routine now that there is a gym closer to the residence halls. The size of the gym is also more welcoming to beginners, who might be intimidated by the main recreation center.
“At home, I have a really tiny gym, so this is more me,” says Erica Noble, freshman nursing major. “I feel more comfortable here than at the huge rec.”
Like a hotel gym, there are no locker rooms or showers at Tri-Rec, which Langdon says gives students a more relaxed, homey feel.
“It’s built to be an in-and-out workout,” Langdon says. “It’s prime to throw in a load of laundry and get your workout done in that same time. And, then, right downstairs is Rosie’s Diner and Market. You could do everything all in one shot.”
In its opening week, Tri-Rec recorded more than 3,200 swipes, averaging more than 450 swipes per day, Langdon says.