Most likely, everyone who has stepped on Penn State’s campus has heard and worried about the “freshman 15.” To anyone who doesn’t know, this phrase refers to the roughly 15 pounds that many freshmen gain during their first year of college.
Whether you blame it on eating late at night, drinking high-calorie alcoholic beverages or not exercising enough, gaining weight during your freshman year is common.
To combat the “freshman 15,” health experts consistently recommend students regularly exercise, hopefully on top of walking to classes.
There are four athletic facilities on campus — the White Building, the IM Building, Rec Hall and fitness loft of the Natatorium. Of these four, only the White Building and Rec Hall can hold more than 60 people at a time. Both have a capacity of about 200.
With close to 40,000 students attending University Park’s campus, overcrowding at the gyms is common. The closest gym to East Halls is the IM Building, but many freshmen bypass this athletic facility because of its sub-par interior. The intramural building boasts a fitness center/weight room, racquetball courts, an indoor track, basketball and volleyball courts, but the facility is often overlooked because of its lack of upkeep.
Hopefully that is all about to change.
At last Thursday’s Board of Trustees Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning, a representative of the Office of Physical Plant outlined a three-phase plan to renovate the IM Building to include additional fitness space, increase the level of entrance control and security, add more basketball and racquetball courts and update the track.
Only the first phase has been approved for funding and would consist of expanding the front of the building on all three levels to include more fitness space, control entrance to the building and improve the look of the building and landscaping from the outside.
It is great that the Board of Trustees is renovating a building that is badly in need of attention.
That being said, on a campus this size, there is a wide range of interests to be considered.
We hope that these renovations are catered to the interests of all students, not just the students who want to play basketball or racquetball.
The building could attract different people if it offered alternative ways to burn calories.
As long as these renovations do not adversely affect gym membership costs, they are beneficial for students and will hopefully help overcrowding.