For the past three years, CU Active has occupied two small rooms in the Sigma Square residence hall. But the rooms lacked adequate ventilation and space, and were open for limited hours.
Ideas for upgrading the center came up a year ago when a student amenities task force led by University Services explored how to enhance student spaces on campus. A survey conducted by ASCUI brought an overwhelming response: students wanted a fitness center with more hours.
They designed it really well. It’s been fun to see it all come together — a true team effort
So this summer, CU Active was moved into an adjacent student lounge area in Sigma Square, doubling its square footage and offering much higher ceilings and good ventilation. The fitness center has large windows and a bevy of new equipment including three treadmills, two bikes, a rowing machine and free weights, in addition to the previous weight machines and elliptical machine. A giant industrial fan provides a cooling breeze, and TVs in the corners and mirrors on a wall give visual interest. One wall sports a large quote from Isaiah 40:31: “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
“They designed it really well. It’s been fun to see it all come together — a true team effort,” says Brianna Montgomery ’07, associate dean for residential education and services who participated in the task force.
Tim Odle, executive director of University Services, says that approximately one hundred students used the new CU Active in the first two days.
“It just exploded,” says Odle. “We’re trying to develop that culture of community on campus and things for students to do in their free time for physical and mental health, for exercise. Now students have the ability to say, ’Let’s take a half hour break, head down to CU Active, work out and come back.’”
The central location, along a highly trafficked campus pathway, makes it accessible to all students, including commuters, plus faculty and staff. Odle says that taking loose open spaces, like large lounge areas, and giving them specific operational intent as they did with CU Active “adds ownership to our student body and creates tradition and repetition of action that becomes part of the culture.”
Next summer, CU Active will double in size again when temporary music practice rooms are relocated to the new Borland-Manske Center. At that point, more equipment will be added to the center, likely including more cardio machines, weights and room for stretching and kinesthetic exercises.