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Renovation expands possibilities in campus gym

Courtesy University of Miami Wellness Center

The wait is finally over. After nearly a year of construction, UM students, faculty and alumni got their first look at the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center’s newly expanded fitness center on Feb. 24.

Yorence Ramiz, a junior who regularly visits the Wellness Center, is looking forward to working out in the state-of-the-art facility.

“Two things excite me about the expansion,” he said. “The first is all of the new and awesome amenities we can look forward to and the other is that all the inconveniences of construction will be over.”

The renovations added 6,800 sq. feet to the fitness room, almost doubling its floorspace.

With the extra space, the center has doubled the number of cardio machines, which include new treadmills and elliptical machines from Precor. There are 20 flat-panel televisions around the room to enjoy while using the new machines. New free weights from Hammer Strength were also added, as well as new selectorized weight equipment from Cybex.

“We sold 90 percent of the old equipment,” said Norm Parsons, director of the Wellness Center.

The new second floor now includes a pilates studio with five reformer machines and two new multipurpose rooms, giving the Herbert Wellness Center a total of four.

There is also a new cycling studio featuring 33 Star Trac spinning bikes. Inside the new cycling room is a six-foot video wall displaying scenes from several different countries.

“It’s like you’re riding all over the world,” Parsons said.

According to Parsons, the total cost of the expansion was around $5 million, including about half a million for new equipment. The project was funded by a gift from alumni Patti and Allan Herbert, the patrons of the center, as well as by the Wellness Center’s reserves and some borrowed money.

With all this new space, the gym will no longer be as crowded as it was before. The fitness room now has a capacity of 300, doubling the previous figure of approximately 150. The center also added another student employee per shift for afternoons and evenings to deal with the increase in space.

Staff hope the expansion will make the Herbert Wellness Center a more comfortable place to get in shape, allowing more people to visit and start bettering their lives.

“You set the foundation for your education at the university,” Parsons said. “But you can set the foundation for your life at the Wellness Center.”

INFO BOX

18,000 sq. feet of added space

4Number of treadmills and elliptical machines doubled (24 each)

4Number of cycling machines increased to 33

June 22, 2011

Reporters

Andres Correa

Contributing News Writer


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