One of BYU’s weight rooms, now significantly expanded, will reopen soon, though not quite on its original planned reopening date of July 1.
In the Smith Fieldhouse, Room 293A, the room to the north, has a new floor, weights, benches and mirrors. Larry Neal, director of Health and Human Performance Services, said the rumors are finally true and that on or before mid-July, the north weight room will reopen.
The BYU Student Fitness Center, as it will be called, will have about 6,000 square feet — just about double its previous size. Once it opens, all classes will be held in the smaller weight room located to the south. This means that from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., the new center will be available for all students, faculty and staff. This also means users won’t get kicked out for a class.
The new weight room was created by removing the north wall and opening up that space for more equipment. Almost all of the equipment will be new and includes 15 treadmills, 14 elliptical machines, 5 arc trainers, 7 bench-press stations and many other weight machines. The equipment is organized so that about 100 people will be able to comfortably work out, which is more than double what it used to be.
In total, there are 94 separate stations which people can use. Neal said he is much more confident in the durability and performance increases with the new machines and equipment.
There will also be a new stretching section, places for backpacks and the air conditioning should be better, Neal said.
Denice Rimple, a BYU student studying public health who works as a facilities supervisor, said she wants to make sure students know the Honor Code will be enforced. That means no cut-off shirts or shorts that are shorter than mid-thigh. Men must also be clean-shaven to gain admittance. Also, wristbands will be used and can be obtained at the RB information desk.
Tyler Morrison, a junior from Denver, said he is excited to have the new weight room because it will fit around his schedule, so he will be more inclined to come for longer periods of time.
“It will be a lot easier to come to the weight room and you can fit it around your schedule and not the other way around,” Morrison said.
Another benefit is that coming to the larger gym will decrease the crowding. Steve Harris, a frequent gym goer from Cleveland, said he would like this aspect the most.
“[The current weight room is] always crowded, you walk past the NCAA room to get there, so it will be nice to have something similar to that for regular students,” Harris said.
Neal said the weight room renovation began in April and years of planning are finally coming together.
“We are hoping that this will be an improvement for the campus community,” Neal said.
He also said he hopes students, faculty and staff will appreciate the new equipment and take care of it.