The Fitness Center in the Keohane Sports Center (KSC) and the adjoining Field House reopened on Wednesday, Jan. 28 after a series of renovations. According to “The Dirt,” a blog which records changes to the athletic space as they happen, the complex was closed on Mar. 20 of last year, and over the course of several months, construction workers have given the facilities a facelift through structural and decorative changes.
According to Bridget Belgiovine, Director of Athletics and Chair of the Physical Education, Recreation, Athletics (PERA) Department, the renovations, which deal with everything from changes in lighting to new equipment, are extensive.
“The overall footprint of the Dorothy Towne Field House has not changed, but a significant amount of work has been done to it both internally and externally,” Belgiovine said.
The Fitness Center is now outfitted with air conditioning, two 70” flat screens, 32 pieces of Life Fitness cardio machines, 20 pieces of INSIGNIA Series strength equipment, two half squat and bench racks among other equipment. Wellesley’s updated Spinning Room has 12 new cycles and a sound system to amplify students’ workout experience.
As for the Field House, there are now three indoor tennis courts, a four-lane track with an updated long and triple jump sand pit and other necessary accommodations for sporting events and practices at Wellesley.
Over the past 10 months, the College made adjustments to accommodate students and faculty who needed access to recreational and fitness opportunities while the Field House and the Fitness Center were closed. Thanks to the effort of various buildings, students and Wellesley’s maintenance crew, the community was able to adapt smoothly to these changes.
“We relocated rock climbing to Dana Hall; Caz Hall served as the student cardio/strength location; spinning was located in one of the two glass squash courts….Student-led fitness classes occurred in several campus locations,” Belgiovine noted.
President Kim Bottomly articulated in a statement issued at the conception of the Campus Renewal projects that these changes “will transform [the students’ and faculty’s] living and learning environment.”
However, the issue that remains is that some students may be unaware of the renovations made to the KSC. Despite the efforts of the Field House Project Team, “The Dirt,” which is curated by Charna Westervelt, and chosen members of Public Affairs, the renovations to the Fitness Center and the Field House may not have been publicized as effectively as possible. Many students, including Emerson Goldstein ’18, were unaware of the KSC’s renovations.
In the coming days, there are two events planned by the school to attract campus-wide attention to the KSC. According to The Dirt, on Friday, Feb. 13, at noon, there will be an Open House ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Fitness Center/Field House. The following day on Feb. 14, at 1:00, there will be a pre-game reception and a Halftime Court Donor Dedication during the Wellesley vs. Mount Holyoke Basketball game.
Photo by Colleen Flanagan ’15, Staff Photographer