New Fitness Center Opens May 16

The former Fitness International workout complex near the intersection of Highway 316 and Collins Hill Road that was purchased by the Georgia Gwinnett College Foundation last January has undergone a “campus” makeover, and will open to GGC students, faculty, and staff this Friday, May 16.

The former Fitness International workout complex near the intersection of Highway 316 and Collins Hill Road that was purchased by the Georgia Gwinnett College Foundation last January has undergone a “campus” makeover, and will open to GGC students, faculty, and staff this Friday, May 16.

“The level of enthusiasm is through the roof,” says Bill Rogers, GGC director of intramural sports and recreation. “And I wouldn’t say that about just students, the same goes for our faculty and staff. Everyone has really embraced the wellness model at GGC. The Fitness Center is a place for our community to congregate, meet up with friends, get a great workout, and start adopting a healthy lifestyle, if they haven’t already.”

The GGC Foundation purchased the 36,862-square-foot building and most of the equipment inside for $5.5 million, which included two acres of land. The exterior of the building has been painted and branded with the college’s contemporary “G” logo, while the interior has been re-carpeted, re-tiled, and re-painted.

“The pool has been re-grouted, the pool deck has been re-laid, the machinery has been re-upholstered, and new lockers have been brought in,” says Rogers. “It’s been a major facelift, but it’s been a labor of love for me.”

Students and employees enter the new GGC Fitness Center by using their GGC ID cards—the Claw Card. The complex features comfortable lounge seating, an area with games such as Wii and ping pong, three racquetball courts (which can also be used for handball, squash, and walleyball), and a 25-meter pool. The pool and spas will be open later in the summer.

“We sent out surveys asking students what they wanted in terms of programming, and water inner tube polo was one of the most popular events,” says Rogers. “It’s all about offering programming the students want. It’s their campus and we’re here to serve them.”

The GGC Fitness Center also houses a large gymnasium surrounded by an upstairs running track, a huge training area with 55 pieces of free-weight equipment, a strength training area with guided-path machinery, and a spacious cardiovascular area with a bank of televisions and more than 40 stair-climbers, treadmills, and stationery bikes. The complex also features an area for spinning (cycling) classes, group exercise (circuit training, hip-hop dance, etc.), a human performance lab, locker rooms, saunas, and offices.

Some 20 part-time instructors have been hired to lead group classes at the center, each one certified in a specific field (yoga, kickboxing, etc.). In addition, 22 GGC students have been hired as employees at the Fitness Center. Hours of operation will be Monday – Thursday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“Our intramural programming will be driven by student interest surveys,” says Rogers. “We want our program to reach every student on campus.”

GGC will eventually offer four categories of recreational opportunities: self-directed, such as hitting the treadmill for 45 minutes between classes; instructional, learning the proper techniques, rules, and scoring for a game the student has never played before, such as badminton or racquetball; traditional intramurals, such as tennis, racquetball, and badminton for individuals, and flag football, basketball, dodge ball, soccer, and ultimate Frisbee for teams; and club sports, competing against students from other colleges and universities.

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