"NOW OPEN!” read a sign outside of the brand new Foster Fitness Center in mid August of 2015.
The fitness center is housed in the former Foster Aquatic Center.
The old fitness center was located on the lower level of Lamkin with minimal space for students to exercise.
The new Foster Fitness Center consists of nearly 20,000 square feet with a state-of-the-art cardio and weight lifting machines, a human performance lab and classroom space.
Along with the new center came an area for aerobics, spinning, yoga and various fitness courses.
In addition, there is a mezzanine that overlooks the fitness center that stores cardio equipment and weight training equipment.
The mezzanine also consists of large windows that furnish natural lighting and allows users to look over the tennis courts and throughout the campus.
The front of the fitness center provides a small lounge area where students can relax or work on homework.
There are also new lockers for users to store their items while they workout, along with bathrooms that have showers for after their workouts.
The Foster Fitness Center is open Monday to Thursday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays until 7 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m.
“The busiest time of the fitness center is between 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. when everyone is just finishing up with classes and getting off of work,” said Robert Veasey, director of the Foster Fitness Center. “The busiest day would have to be Monday. Each day farther into the week the people start to dwindle off.”
Mr. Veasey also said that there has been a 60 percent increase in users of the facility from before the renovation.
While mostly students use the fitness center, faculty and staff of the Northwest campus as well as community members are welcome.
Athletic teams also use the center. During the busiest times, it is often hard for users to access the equipment and may have to wait several minutes to get a chance to use the equipment.
But, the fitness center also provides great opportunities for users.
Northwest student Sam Hurst, 22, uses the fitness center at least 5 to 6 times a week.
“It is always accessible when I use it,” Hurst said. “I love the fitness center because it has brand new equipment and plenty of it. I think it is much better than the old because it provides more space than the old and there are more weight racks for you to use as well as cardio machines. The weights and weight machines are very handy, and not all of them were available in the old fitness center.”
Overall, the Foster Fitness Center is a great place for Northwest students, faculty and staff, and the people of Maryville to stay fit and healthy.