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The University of Minnesota Duluth
BRIDGE - Fall 2006, Volume 24, #2
UMD's New Sports and
UMD celebrated the grand opening of the $12.4 million UMD Sports and Health Center Addition in September. The new 46,000 square foot facility is Northern Minnesota's largest and most comprehensive athletic and recreational facility. It features state-of-the-art strengthening, toning and fitness equipment of all types, according to Mick McComber, director, UMD Recreational Sports Outdoor Program. He said, "Student demand for recreational and fitness activities has grown sharply through the years. With our new, expanded facilities, UMD is now able to provide these healthy life-style activities to our students, faculty and staff."
In recent years, statistics show that approximately 90% of UMD students have participated in exercise and fitness, as well as some 450 faculty/staff. But waiting lines were long, sometimes hours. McComber estimates that approximately 1,500 people will use the new facilities each day.
The two-story addition offers dozens of exercise options. Two group exercise rooms are used for aerobics, student group classes, yoga, and Kinesis System core training exercises. A 37-foot colorful climbing wall features the latest in climbing trends including a "bouldering component." A recreational gymnasium contains multi-purpose flooring which allows a wide variety of open, informal recreational activities such as basketball, volleyball, badminton, and in-line skating. A two-level fitness center features 65 pieces of cardio machines (more than three times the former amount), as well as tread mills, elliptical machines, upright and recumbent bikes, and various forms of weight machines. The fitness center also includes cable TV with wireless audio which users may plug into their headsets.
The UMD Department of Athletics occupies 10,000 square feet of the new addition. This is four times the size of their old space. The space will be used for team training for all UMD sports -- everything from tennis to football -- and allows athletes to train both in- and off-season. The strength and conditioning coaching staff offices are also housed there.
The new addition is designed to coordinate well with UMD's existing facilities, making it a fully functioning Sports and Health Center Complex. The addition joins the existing complex which includes a swimming pool, Romano Gymnasium, Olympic-size ice rink, sports medicine facilities, classrooms, meeting rooms, locker rooms for students, faculty, staff, and intercollegiate teams, Ward Wells Field House, and Malosky Field/Griggs Stadium.
The total cost of the project is $12.4 million. In the spring of 2001, UMD students voted to contribute $4 million toward the Sports and Health Center Addition by authorizing a $50 increase in their annual student fees. The Minnesota Legislature then authorized $8.4 million in the spring of 2005. A ground-breaking ceremony for the new addition was held May 3, 2005.
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