California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

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Recreation and Wellness Center Opens

Students have been lining up inside the new Recreation and Wellness Center all week, anticipating its trial opening on Dec. 6.

This Monday was the first time the Recreation and Wellness Center, or RAW, has opened its doors to the public.

While the campus community still isn’t allowed to use the facility, as the equipment is still getting a final set-up, waivers were signed and contact information was entered into the RAW’s system.

“It’s our way of thanking the campus community for being patient with us while the building was under construction,” said Krista Smith, Director of ASI Recreation and the RAW. “Basically, this is our campus coming out to support us as an ASI Rec team on what we’ve been working on, and we appreciate it.”

The trial opening, running from Dec. 6 to 23, is free for students, staff, faculty and alumni to come and use the building and the programs offered.

“There will be no obvious restrictions as to what members can use,” explained Smith about the “trial” opening designation. “They can’t rent lockers, we won’t have bath towels for them, or they may walk by a studio and it will be empty because all of our classes won’t be on until the grand opening.”

The fitness centers on both floors, indoor gym, running track and equipment rental will be available for full use during the weeks the RAW will be open.

While the full fitness class schedule will not be up and running this month, an exhibition type event will be on Dec. 8.

The downstairs fitness center is “all about strength training,” with equipment that focuses on resistance for muscle building, but a set of free-weights are on both floors, said Smith.

The upstairs fitness center, which is set aside for elliptical and cardio-type machines, is packed full with the latest technological equipment.

Dave Elton, dealer sales manager for Precor, the company that ASI Recreation purchased the equipment from, said that the new machines entertain the user as well as give them cardio benefits.

“Working out is a lot less about exercise and more about the experience from the shoulders up,” he added. “People want to watch TV or listen to their iPods.”

Each machine has its own personal television screen that will have live cable by the official opening of the building in January. In a few weeks, users will be able to hook their iPods up to the equipment and control it from the bigger machine screen, said Elton.

Data from the equipment, like usage and operation status, will be sent a computer that Smith and other employees can access. Essentially, it is a way for members to “non-verbally communicate” what equipment is needed without “filling out a suggestion card,” according to Smith.

“This is the first large campus installation of these machines,” said Elton. “Krista will be able to track which machines are used the most so down the line, when they go to order new equipment, they will know which machines were used the most and which would be most beneficial to order more of.”

The equipment will also send an electronic signal to the central computer to signal that it is broken or in other ways inoperable, so the problem can be fixed promptly without members having to fill out any paper work.

“The machine will let us know, ‘Hey, excuse me, I’m down,’” explained Elton. “Then we get the serial number and can get right to fixing the problem.”

The indoor gym, which will be fully operational, is capable of running two basketball or volleyball games at a time or some combination of the sports. Above the rims are an elevated running track.
A room for equipment rental will be open during the trial period so that members can enjoy the benefits of the gym.

While students anxiously wait in line to sign up for the trial opening, staff and faculty are excited for the opportunity to try the building out during the free trial before buying the quarterly membership pass.

“It’s fabulous,” said Christopher Rivers, Associate Development Director for Corporate and Foundation Relations and Major Gifts. “I’ve really been looking forward to the building being open.”

Rivers currently participates in racquetball at the athletic gym but is excited about the RAW center so he can “complement” his workouts now with different kinds of fitness.

“I think it’s really important to have something here for physical fitness and health,” said Rivers.

For Rivers and other staff and faculty utilizing the free membership period, it truly is a trial opening for them to decide if they would like to purchase a membership for subsequent quarters.

“If I’m getting value from it, I don’t mind paying the fee,” said Rivers. “I’m really looking for classes and workshops. So if I can get in the groove of using the center, then I would buy a membership.”

Smith is also hoping that the trial opening will help the ASI Recreation team obtain some good feedback so that any kinks can be worked out before the grand opening on Jan. 11.

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California State University East Bay
Recreation and Wellness Center Opens