SAC weight training center receives new equipment, to reopen soon


New equipment sits in the Weight Training Center on Dec. 1 in the Student Activity Center.

Following a six-month closure after a historic summer rainstorm, the Student Activity Center Weight Training Center is close to opening for the Spring 2018 semester.

Repairs only cost the university $156,164.

The first wave of custom-ordered workout equipment, such as squat racks and benches, for the weight training center have been installed. While the room itself was promptly renovated with new floors and fresh paint, the workout equipment had yet to arrive to complete the project. 

A majority of the existing equipment was deemed unsafe by various consultants in early August, due to rust that would develop and pathogens that could exist in the porous surfaces of the equipment, such as bench cushions.  

By late August, the process of ordering new equipment had begun. It has been an ongoing project since — overseen by Stan Shingles, assistant vice president of University Recreation.

Shingles said the process has taken longer than expected due to the large amount of custom equipment that was ordered, in addition to being place on a waitlist behind other orders. 

"We were hoping that with everything that we were doing that we might be open in October,"  Shingles said. "But based on what we wanted, and needed, that's when we ran into the manufacturing challenges."

The only items that remain from before the flood are the fans and mirrors on the walls. A wood podium also survived the flooding in good condition and will now stand at the front of the room as a memento of sustainability, Shingles said.

About 30 percent of the new equipment arrived Nov. 27 and was installed by a vendor in Chicago. The rest is expected to be in place within the next two weeks.

In the meantime, CMU students have had to adjust their workouts since there is only one workout room available — on the upper floor of the SAC. 

Fenton sophomore Nick Bills now goes to Planet Fitness for his workouts.  

“It was easier to just walk across the street, rather than have to get in the car and drive across town,” Bills said. 

For others, it has meant coming to the SAC at times when the fitness room is less crowded, or changing their workouts altogether based on what equipment is available.  

Dundee junior Jonah Shultz has been eagerly awaiting the reopening of the Weight Training Center. He has since been coming to the SAC in the morning to avoid the large crowd of people in the fitness room.  

“I definitely have to come at a time when there’s less people, because everyone is upstairs now that (the weight room) closed,” Shultz said. “Everyone that would go downstairs is now up here, so it’s double the amount of people.” 

While the exact date of reopening is still uncertain, Shingles and his colleagues are aware what the weight room means to students. They are working to have it open by the start of next year.

“We knew that we were under-resourced in our fitness center from an equipment standpoint, and then the flood came," Shingles said. "And all of a sudden the freshman from 2017 will have a brand-new facility. No other class can say that."