Center Plans Aug. 31 Open House to Introduce New Programs, Activities
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – With a facelift and tons of new equipment and added activities, the Ralph H. Boston Wellness Center at Tennessee State University rivals any commercial fitness center in the city, and the TSU facility is free to users.
For Alexis Warner, that’s a big draw. “It is very convenient, you don’t have to pay membership, just show your ID and get a free workout,” said the senior Mass Communications major from Memphis, Tennessee, who visits the center about four times a week while attending summer school.
The center, which is opened to students, faculty and staff with university IDs, sees about 300 users a day, and that number is expected to go up with the new equipment and a new look in this school year, according to center coordinator Felicia Sweatt.
“We are here Monday through Sunday about 12 hours on the average a day, and there is never a shortage of students, faculty and staff coming to the wellness center,” Sweatt said.
The redesign is part of the vision of Dr. Michael Freeman, associate vice president for Student Affairs, who rejoined the university about a year ago, according to Gerald Davis, director of the Wellness Center.
“The moment Dr. Freeman came on board he immediately saw the need to do something to make sure students not only had a first-rate facility to work out in but one that was safe for their use,” Davis said, adding that this is the first major renovation since 2003.
“We have been using some creative means to keep it (the center) going, but Dr. Freeman was able to find the money and we are very thankful to him and the administration,” Davis said.
New elliptical equipment, including upright and recumbent bikes, as well as several new top-of-the-line treadmills and other cable machines spread out across the 3,304 square-foot facility are for cardio workout. New curl and weight bars adorn the strength and power lifting area. And Davis said, by Labor Day, the center plans to replace all of the bulky CRT (Cathode ray tube) television sets with five new bigger flat screen TVs.
“I really like the changes they have made in the center,” said Tré Tate, a senior Exercise Science major from Columbia, Tennessee, who has been a frequent visitor since 2011 as a freshman. “I love to workout, it helps me relieve stress, and I have made a lot of friends in this place. It is nice that they have made these improvements which will definitely encourage more students to come.”
Davis added, “The changes we have made in the center are the kinds of enhancements patrons have been asking for. It (the changes) helps them enjoy their workouts better.”
He said to accommodate patrons who want workouts with entertainment value but don’t have free time during the evening hours, the center has introduced midday classes that include yoga and salsa that are drawing a large number of people.
With new students and a new academic year, the Wellness Center will host a free open house from 5 – 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 31. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to stop by to see what the facility has to offer.
“The open house will include tours, demonstrations of several fitness classes being offered during the fall semester, including kickboxing, hip pop, boot camp and total body workout for extreme fitness,” Davis said.
The Wellness Center is open Monday through Thursday 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.; and Sunday 1-5 p.m.
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With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.