Creating a Fit U: Longwood Debuts New Health & Fitness Center
Gina Caldwell Associate Editor
"Longwood will be one of the thinnest campuses in the Commonwealth," said President Patricia Cormier referring to Longwood students, faculty, and staff who will have access to the building for more than 95 hours each week. In addition to Campus Recreation, the building houses the Counseling Center and the Student Health and Wellness Center. "We believe that this new center will shape the mind, body, and spirit – the whole person, if you will, and that has always been a goal of higher education," said Dr. Cormier.
Marge Connelly, rector of the Longwood Board of Visitors, urged students to do three things with the center: "Use it. Enjoy it. And brag about it to your friends back home."
Climbing the Rock Wall at the New Health & Fitness Center
Following the ceremony, guests crowded the main entrances to the building where they were greeted by servers offering Smoothie samples from the Freshen’s Energy Zone. A variety of healthy snacks and beverages were offered throughout the center. Students participated in a free-throw contest and watched demonstrations of weight and cardio equipment and the 30-foot rock climbing wall. Give-aways included signature "Creating a Fit U" t-shirts and water bottles.
The $13.6 million brick and glass building was designed by Hastings & Chivetta of St. Louis and built by J.E. Jamerson & Sons Inc. of Appomattox on the site of what had been a parking lot for commuter students. It faces Franklin Street and the south end of Frazer Residence Hall. Details of the building include a curved section of glass at the corner of Franklin and South Main; a skylight over the fitness center; and four white columns supported by brick pillars at the main entrance facing Franklin Street.
Health and Fitness Center by the Numbers
75,000 number of square feet in the building
7,300 number of square feet in the main exercise zone
5,000 number of pounds of Hampton weight plates
2,936 number of different students to visit the center at least once
1,256 most guests to use the center on a single day (Sept. 12)
1,238 number of guests using the center on the first day (Aug. 29)
560 number of average daily users
288 number of different faculty/staff to visit the center at least once
95 number of hours the center is open each week
65 number of student employees
40 pieces of cardiovascular equipment
30 pieces of strength equipment