Plans in the work to beef up Fitness Center
The entire Fitness Center area will expand this summer to the tune of nearly $1 million.
The area needs more space for a variety of reasons, but safety is a main factor in the decision to expand. Having too many students in a small space at one time is a hazard, said Ken Bascom, senior director of facilities and planning.
“Three primary things we’re trying to do with this project are to give better sized combatives room for wrestling, aerobics, and those kinds of things, ” Bascom said.
The total budget for the expansion is at $975,000, to be exact. Year-end surpluses from two different years are funding $700,000 of the cost, and Auxiliary Services will cover $275,000. Construction might start as soon as April.
The construction will also include a sealed-off room for teams that will be located right off the main gym, and athletic staff offices will be updated and expanded. Bascom said the offices are in desperate need of a remodel.
“All the offices in here are small, and they have zero acoustical privacy because they are paneled walls that were tacked together,” he said.
The 18 sports teams at Biola, which use the facilities for practice and training, will especially benefit from the additions.
“This is going to be really beneficial for us to have a bigger weight room because of the size of our team,” said Tyler Sharp, Biola’s track and field captain. “It will help our team train harder but also help the camaraderie of lifting together as a unit and not just individually.”
Another member of the track and field team, freshman jumper and sprinter Travis Prindiville, was delighted to hear about the expansion.
“The current size cannot handle the amount of students that use the Weight Room,” Prindiville said. “It will be able to handle a much larger number of people, which will help students and athletes be more efficient with their time in the weight room. We can lift together, as a team, and it won’t take too long because we can lift without waiting around.”
Sophomore David Sigley, an attack and midfielder for the Biola lacrosse team, shared Travis Prindiville’s excitement.
“This will enable flexibility when you can workout because more space will create less of a crowd,” he said. “I don’t like the clutter in the Weight Room, so I am excited to see the new expansions.”
“The bigger the Weight Room, the bigger my muscles,” said freshman pole vaulter Alex Calkins.
Biola’s leaders plan to grow University programs in an effort to accommodate the rapidly growing number of students and faculty now a part of the Biola community. Through donations from benefactors and savings, Biola is working to expand three new facilities -- the Talbot building, the science building and the Center for the Arts.
Funds for those buildings are trailing the goals of university leaders. Talbot has raised just above $8 million of its total need of $55.4 million. The goal for starting construction has been pushed back to next month and may be pushed back even further.