App for Monitoring Rec Center Usage

App Store shot 1Dave Stanton and Joseph Rockland were best friends in high school, but attended separate colleges. Stanton attended Colby College in Maine, which had an average of 1800-2000 people. Rockland went to the University of Maryland in College Park, which admits over 25,000 people.

Although attending contrasting schools, the two kept in touch and shared the same problem of going to the gym at crowded times – to the point where they would have to change their fitness regime or even leave the recreation facility.

“We both knew there had to be a better solution to something like this, but we weren’t exactly sure what it was. And so, at the end of last year, Dave started putting together the wire frames for an idea like this,” Rockland said.

GymSnap was created in January 2015 as an application that campus recreation facilities could partner with and use to keep track of how many students are using different areas of the facilities. Students can then access the app and see how many people are at the rec center, and if their favorite machine or court is already in use.

“One thing that we focused on is improving the campus experience for students and allowing them to live a healthy lifestyle and stay in good shape, while still experiencing all the other things that college has to offer,” Rockland said. “Just that it’s something that students want. It comes with the students and schools first in mind.”

Salem State University is one of the first universities to partner with GymSnap. The school has not utilized the app yet, but have high hopes for it in the future.

“We’re trying to bring more students to campus …that was the hope with having the fitness center – we’re adding more on-campus opportunities for students,” said Kelly Janos, the associate director of athletics and recreation at Salem State University. “I think it will help people kind of plan out their workouts a little bit better.”

In developing the app, Rockland and Stanton hired an app company, OpenXcell, to do the coding, while they created the wire frames, making it easy for campus recreation directors and student staff members to utilize the back end of the app.

Janos plans to have her student staff update the app every 30-minutes, when the recreation facility typically does their headcounts. Instead of using paper, students will now count using the back end of the app, so it is constantly updated for students.

“I think it’s just a learning piece there, getting the student staff to make sure they’re updating it consistently. You can send out notifications directly from it, so I think that will be another big piece,’ added Janos.

Janos added she is not worried the gym will be “too crowded” for students to come visit. In fact, she hopes it makes students try new workouts and different activities.

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