Center benefits students
Posted: Thursday, February 11, 2010 11:11 am
The Messenger 02.11.10
It’s a recreation center for students and funded by students, so who better to know first-hand its benefits than students?
Bryan Panovec and Rachel Lester also have the advantage of their experiences as student employees of the University of Tennessee at Martin Office of Campus Recreation. They have worked and “worked out” for several years at campus facilities.
The new $16.5 million, 96,000-square-foot Student Recreation Center has officially opened at 95 Mount Pelia Road on campus, with UT Interim President Jan Simek and UT Martin Chancellor Tom Rakes among those participating in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“It’s important for students to take advantage of the new facility because it is theirs,” said Panovec, an Austin, Texas, senior history and political science double major. “There is something for everyone in the facility.”
Ms. Lester, a Martin junior nursing major, thinks the new fitness center and basketball courts are the best features.
“I’ve always played sports and have been active. I feel less stressed and better about myself after a good workout or a game of basketball,” she said. “I love to do cardio. The computerized monitors each cardio machine has allow you to plan and save each workout you do.”
Gina McClure, Office of Campus Recreation director, credits students for making the center a reality and points to the much-needed space as a means to have consistent recreational time without competing for time and space with classes and athletics.
While the Elam Center will still be utilized, the recreational programming that is possible in the new center includes fitness classes and special events.
“Facilities like this are really important for universities,” said Simek, who added that a university today has a responsibility for the health and well being of its community, students, faculty and staff.
Simek said another reason these facilities are important is because students pay attention to the environment in which they are going to go to school. He said such facilities are integral and UT Martin should be proud.
“The modern recreational facility is a welcome addition to multiple playing fields, swimming pool and many other recreational sites our students enjoy on a daily basis,” Rakes said. “Student use during our trial period has been brisk and all those involved from planning, construction and now actual management have been vital to the completion of this facility. Our student affairs staff has moved quickly but carefully in phasing in various activities throughout the center.”
The new facility includes four basketball courts that can convert into volleyball and badminton courts, a walking/jogging balcony, three racquetball courts, fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment, a classroom, a multipurpose and aerobics room, locker rooms, equipment checkout space and an office suite. It also has two lobbies, which provide additional leisure recreational opportunities.
The center was built primarily for students, as student fees are the funding source.
Other potential users include faculty, staff, retirees and families of UT Martin students and employees, who will pay a fee for use of the facility.
Lyle, Cook, Martin of Clarksville and Fleming Associates of Memphis served as project architects and A&K Construction Co. of Paducah, Ky., built the center.