Mikaela Mummert
Summer Director

A long awaited project is nearing its end. Construction to update and renovate the Fitness Center is finishing up as the school year draws near. All renovations are scheduled to be completed by the end of August. The Fitness Center is scheduled to open on the first day of classes, August 29th, while the pool should be available September 1st.

The project has consisted of various phases: an addition to the Fitness Center, construction of a new gym, and renovations to Hitchcock, the pool, the wrestling room, and administrative offices.

According to Messiah Vice President of Operations Kathie Shafer, the addition will transform the way students engage in fitness at Messiah College. The indoor track will no longer be home to any of the cardio equipment and will just serve as a running track. All of the cardio and strength training equipment will be located in their own separate area.

Strength training space before equipment was added

The new state-of-the-art cardio and strength training equipment has been moved in and is awaiting opening day. New additions include spin bikes, new treadmills and other equipment. Various fitness classes using the new facilities will be scheduled in the fall.

Located next to Brubaker, Sawyer Gym is another addition to the Fitness Center.  The gym has already been opened and is being used for various camps over the summer.

Changes to Hitchcock Arena are nearing completion as well. Completely gutted and redone, Hitchcock has received a new sound system, flooring, ceiling, bleachers, and lighting. A new scoreboard and video wall have been added, creating a better experience for fans including the addition of instant replay. Hitchcock will become the home court of all Messiah College indoor sporting events. The entirety of the renovations are scheduled to be completed on August 15th.

The pool has received a complete makeover. Before the renovations there was hardly any room for spectators. Now, stadium seating allows for access to any swimming related events. New lighting has been installed and new decking to the pool will be laid. As for the pool, the lining will also be replaced for the upcoming season.

Sawyer Gym

With this new addition comes new responsibilities, including the creation of position of Fitness Center Director. Messiah College alumni, Kevin Ogden accepted this role and is excited to see what opportunities he can bring students through the fitness center.

“My vision is to make it a fitness center for the entire Messiah College community, having something for everyone”. Ogden hopes to start initiatives for fitness classes and get students in who may not have considered exercise something they’d normally partake in. “I’m excited to give them a great fitness experience”. Ogden says his staff and work studies will arrive early in order to learn about the new equipment, preparing for the arrival of students.

The Fitness Center will be accessible to all students, faculty, and their dependents over sixteen via a Messiah College ID card with a turnstile system. The ID will have to be swiped in order to enter and to provide some security and accountability, according to Shafer. Students who have a class in the Fitness Center will have to remember to bring their IDs to enter.  While alumni access is not a part of the initial plans, this policy will be re-evaluated after the first year of its opening.

Stay tuned to the Pulse for more information and pictures as we follow the completion of the renovations before move in day!

This original story was updated 7/18/17 at 3:55pm