Mission: Expansion

Each year, the American College of Sports Medicine releases its predictions for the top fitness trends. For 2015, the No. 1 trend was predicted to be bodyweight training. Other trends included personal training at No. 5 and functional fitness at No. 9.

What do these three trends have in common? They all require extensive space. In order to better cater to the needs and desires of the student body, Portland State University (PSU) recently launched an expansion project for the recreation center.

“We needed more space,” said Erin Bransford, the coordinator of fitness and health promotion at PSU. “We have out grown the space that we currently have. The easiest way to get more space is through expanding internally, rather than externally.”

The expansion will focus on adding more space for personal training and functional fitness within the recreation center. According to Bransford, prior to the expansion, personal trainers conducted assessments in a closet and their offices consisted of a folding table in the weight room.

“We are going to have a private space for personal trainers to conduct assessments and an office where they can meet with clients in private to talk about their health history, goals and all of that information,” explained Bransford.

With the new expansion, students will no longer be forced to use hallways and walkways as functional training space. “Right now, the weight room is incredibly crowded and people try and find a little bit of free floor space anywhere,” added Bransford. “It is really crowded, so we are going to try not to fill all the space with equipment. We want open space where people can be doing functional training.”

In an attempt to keep the new space open, no additional cardio equipment will be added. The only new equipment will be functional training focused, such as TRX bands, battle ropes and kettlebells.

Renovations began June 15, 2015 but will not affect access to the recreation center throughout the summer session. “We are still going to be open and have all of the same programs that we offer, but they will be modified,” she explained. “We have managed to make it so that we are still offering everything — it is just going to be a smaller square footage and maybe less quantity of things than normal. Everything, like the climbing wall, pool, locker room, will still be available.”

As an added bonus, the expanded recreational center will benefit students without affecting their wallets. Bransford explained the project was financed mostly through reserves that have been accumulated since opening five years ago.

The expected completion date for the project is September 21, 2015, in time for Viking Days, PSU’s orientation program to kick-off the academic year and welcome new students into the campus community.

Emily Harbourne is the editor for Campus Rec Magazine. She can be reached at emily@peakemedia.com.

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