University of Nevada, Reno, students will have a newer, larger place to get fit. The E.L. Wiegand Fitness Center will be open to students, faculty and staff during the spring 2017 semester. The grand opening of the fitness center is scheduled for February.
The fitness center is located across from the Joe Crowley Student Union and Lawlor Events Center. The four-story building will include three intramural basketball courts and room for other court sports. It will also have floors dedicated to equipment for weightlifting and cardio training. It will be around three times larger than Lombardi Recreation Center.
There are also large, open spaces for gym-goers to create their own workout instead of just using machines.
There will be an indoor 1/8-mile track around the top floor of the building and a set of stadium stairs for other training and activities.
A variety of fitness classes will be offered at no additional cost. There will be meditation classes such as yoga and pilates as well as more intense classes such as barre, boxing and cycling. For the more adventurous, acro-yoga and silk-training classes will be available.
The Associated Students of the University of Nevada are getting involved in order to promote the new fitness center.
“We are trying to find a way to let students know that the gym is open and it is free for tuition-paying students,” said ASUN Speaker Noah Teixeira. “We are also trying to find a way to get students excited to use the new programs and classes within the gym.”
ASUN is creating a campaign called Pack Fit designed to bring mental and physical health awareness to students while promoting the new gym.
“Pack Fit is about more than just fitness,” said ASUN Vice President Jacob Springmeyer. “It’s a campaign to educate, promote and inspire students to work on improving their personal health as well as trying to live self-fulfilling lives. Staying active can help you with all the stress we deal with on a daily basis in class and at work and trying to manage all the stuff we have.”
During finals week of the fall 2016 semester, ASUN will be hosting events to help students destress, such as a silent disco and a virtual-reality experience.
In the spring, ASUN will be giving away free swag and hosting panels and guest speakers to talk about the importance of mental and physical fitness.
Pack Fit will have its own website dedicated to helping students find the right kind of fitness for them. There will be videos on how to use the equipment as well as class schedules and links to other fitness pages.
During the grand opening, students will be given tours of the new gym and will be able to test classes they may want to participate in.
Springmeyer says this effort is to help UNR become a healthier community.
Jim Fitzsimmons, the director of campus recreation at UNR, has been teaming up with ASUN to get the word out about the new fitness center.
“We’ve been listening to the students, and they’ve been wanting a larger recreation center,” Fitzsimmons said. “Lombardi was built in 1974 when the campus was much smaller.”
Fitzsimmons and his team have been working on the E.L. Wiegand Fitness Center since the beginning. He has made sure that student demands will be met and the fitness center will be a place of high activity on campus.
According to Fitzsimmons, a large fitness center helps attract and retain more students than campuses without one. Students attend schools with a fitness center 30 percent more often, and 50 to 75 percent of those students will stay at that school because of it.
His data also show that students who are physically active three to four times a week have a grade point average tone point higher han those who do not exercise, but this isn’t news to Fitzsimmons.
“Students who are fit and active perform better academically,” Fitzsimmons said. “The data has always shown that.”
Students have expressed concern that tuition would once the new recreation center is finsihed, but ultimately, it is less expensive to pay for the new fitness center than a Lombardi pass. A membership to Lombardi costs $80 a semester while tuition will only increase $30 per semester to pay for a membership to the new gym.
“I’m excited for the students to get in there and see their responses when they look at the new stuff they have in there,” Springmeyer said. “I hope it helps in every aspect of [students’] lives and hopefully has a positive impact.”
Madeline Purdue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @madelinepurdue.