Providing what students need and ask for is a basic requirement of a campus recreation department. Longwood University, tucked away in Farmville, Virginia, has taken one giant leap toward that end.
In September, Longwood opened a brand new workout facility called the Midtown Fitness Performance Center.
“It’s about 2,400 square feet, and we designed it as a functional fitness facility completely instructor-led,” said Matthew McGregor, the dean of wellness at Longwood. “We’re going to be doing personal training, small group training, sport club strength and conditioning, for our sport club athletes — those types of activities.”
The facility is intended to be a space primarily used for functional training that can be offered to students and faculty.
According to McGregor, the inspiration behind the building of the facility came from the feedback of two different groups on campus.
The first group was students who participated in the university’s sport club activities. “One of the things they were asking for was more involvement with some services that were similar to what the intercollegiate athletes were getting,” said McGregor. “So they asked for athletic training types of services, and they asked for some strength and conditioning services.”
The other group was the rec center’s student employees.
“Some of the feedback we were getting from them was that a majority of our users — our students, and our faculty and staff — who were requesting personal trainers were more than either deconditioned or never involved with working out,” said McGregor. “They’re just getting back into or trying to get back into shape.”
Midtown Fitness Performance Center has already been of incredible benefit to Longwood University, and it will continue to grow in popularity. “The main thing that it does is it allows us to really provide another opportunity for our students, and our faculty and staff,” said McGregor. “What we try and do is provide a little bit of everything as far as the different programs and services we provide in campus recreation. We want to be as comprehensive as possible and provide the opportunities for students to be involved in the wide array of recreational opportunities.”
The next step is to begin taking the programs and services out into the local community. “We’re looking to do some outreach into the community as well,” said McGregor. “Our next phase is as we fine-tune our programming and work with what we’re able to do, [is to] take this to the community, especially to the local high schools in the area. We’ll offer strength and conditioning services to some of the high school athletes and some of the teams.”
From the construction of the Midtown Fitness Performance Center and beyond, there’s a lot to be excited about at Longwood.
“It’s just a good time for Longwood University and a good time for the fitness and wellness opportunities that we’re offering here on campus,” said McGregor.