This past Friday marked the official grand reopening of the Nannerl O. Keohane Sports Center’s (KSC) newly renovated Dorothy Towne Field House with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a slew of wellness-related activities hosted by Wellesley Recreation. The Field House had been closed since the end of last March while undergoing substantial renovations that maintained the original structural integrity of the building. Renovations included the addition of a mezzanine-levelFitness Center overlooking the track and the installation of new flooring and a new roof. The objectives of these improvements were to expand the KSC’s capabilities to support diverse programming and events, as well as better accommodate the fitness needs of the Wellesley community. The revamp of the Field House is one aspect of the multi-year Wellesley 2025 Campus Renewal
Plan, which seeks to reinvigorate the Wellesley campus and its buildings.
Prior to the renovations,different types of cardio and strength-training equipment were scarce and located on separate floors. It was common for there to be a few non-functioning units and it was particularly difficult to find a machine to use during peak exercise times. The new Fitness Center now houses numerous pieces of brand-new cardio and strength training equipment together, which allows fitness goers to easily integrate both forms of exercise into their routine.
“Not only is it more convenient, but it also gives me less of an excuse not to do strength work if I’m there to go for a run,” said Rebecca Schwarz ’16.
In addition to facilitating fitness, the enhancements of the Field House are intended to bring about greater health and wellness promotion. One of the greatest improvements includes its dramatically increased lighting and brighter colored walls.
“It’s so much brighter. They painted the ceiling white, and it makes a big difference,” said cross-country athlete Edie Sharon ’17.
Prior to renovations, the Field House was dimly lit, and students felt that this did not create an atmosphere that encouraged exercise. The new renovations addressed this and created a warmer, more inviting space for fitness goers.
Fitness equipment and facility atmosphere aside, the renovated KSC provides a space for a diverse selection of fitness classes including Spinning, Yoga, Zumba, Barre and a new Kickboxing 101 class offered this semester.
“It’s really great that Wellesley is able to offer such a diverse range of classes right here on campus for free. I think a lot of students don’t take advantage of them because the first time going can be pretty intimidating, but all the student instructors do a great job of modifying the exercises so everyone feels comfortable. And it’s way more fun to work out with your friends than just slaving away on the treadmill,” said Kelsey Phinney ’16, an instructor of the Total Body Strength recreational fitness class.
However, fitness and wellness goes beyond physical health. With the increasing need for mental health support in the Wellesley community, the renovated KSC provides a platform necessary for taking a step toward fulfilling this need.
“A more inviting fitness facility not only encourages the community to take up a more active lifestyle for the sake of being physically fit, but exercise is also so relevant when we talk about mental health,” said Sam Goldstein ’16.
Friday’s ribbon cutting ceremony not only celebrate the new and improved KSC, but also initiated a growing sense of health and wellness promotion on campus. It will be exciting to see the impact these facilities have on the Wellesley community in the coming years.
Photo provided by Bianca Pichamuthu ’16, Co-Photography Editor