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New Caldwell gym reduces crowding in FitRec

The weights in the Caldwell gym. Rose Winchester/Belmont Vision
The weights in the Caldwell gym. Rose Winchester/Belmont Vision

Caldwell Hall’s new gym helps to alleviate crowding during the Fitness and Recreation Center’s busy hours, providing a convenient and well-equipped addition to Belmont’s fitness facility.

“I think it's especially nice because the other one has gotten so crowded,” said Carter Moore, a Belmont senior and frequent user of Caldwell gym.

Belmont’s FitRec previously struggled to accommodate crowding during peak hours, sometimes having to turn students away entirely.

“Just like any gym in America, there are peak times and there’s nonpeak times and those peak times, regardless of where you go are late afternoon, early evening, and they’re extremely busy during those times and it’s no different here,” said FitRec Director Jamie Zeller.

The introduction of the new Caldwell gym has allowed up to 30 more students to be able to workout at the same time.

“It’s been a very useful addition because it makes it so that I don’t have to refuse people entirely,” said FitRec facility assistant Jack Ringenbach.

Caldwell gym is currently open from noon to 8 p.m. on weekdays, and closed on weekends, but the facility plans to expand its hours over fall break.

Caldwell gym’s hours had been limited due to staffing issues, as most of last year’s staff did not continue to work into this semester.

“We only returned less than 10 students from last year’s staff, so we had to hire another 54 just to manage the facility,” said Zeller.

Zeller also encourages students to be proactive and download the Belmont FitRec On The Go app in order to keep up with crowding, events, and to register for classes as well as intramural sports. The app can also be scanned in place of a student ID at the front desk.

“Students need to know that if they’re coming in at 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m., or anytime in there, that they should expect a significant number of people in the weight room, but they can also prepare by looking at the occupancy and knowing exactly how many are going to be in there,” said Zeller.

The FitRec staff strives to allow as many students as possible to workout and values communicating with students.

“When it does become more crowded, then we begin communicating with the students downstairs that Caldwell is an option. We also communicate with the people in the weight room, depending on the activity, and see if they could potentially do that in the rec gym,” said Zeller.

The FitRec’s weight room can hold up to 55 students. While the recreational gym, which includes matts and free weights, can hold up to 30.

Caldwell gym is open to all students, regardless of where they live, and doesn’t often experience the same issues with crowding. It also provides a closer option for students in the area.

“It's kind of a well-kept secret still, and people don't know about it,” said Moore.

Students and staff are generally pleased with the quality of Caldwell’s facility and look forward to hours increasing.

“I think when it’s fully up and running, it’s going to be a nice thing for sure,” said Moore.

This article was written by Rose Winchester.

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