Kalamazoo College has developed a building concept for a new fitness center that will bolster K’s athletic facilities.
The concept plans for a two-story building with cardio and weight equipment, multipurpose rooms, two racquetball courts, and a climbing wall.
The 33,000 square foot fitness center would be an extension of the Markin Racquet Center (MRC), effectively replacing the three racquetball courts and one of the on-campus rental houses. The facility will overlook Academy Street and the train tracks east of the MRC.
The new fitness center would be accessible to all students, faculty, and staff of K. The athletic department would manage the current fitness center, which would be reserved for in-season athletes.
The College is considering demolishing a part of the MRC to extend for financial considerations. “It would probably cost more money to try to build around the existing building,” said Paul Manstrom, Associate Vice President of Facilities Management.
The project is estimated to cost over $7,000,000, and the funds are being collected by K’s staff of college advancement as part of a bigger project.
K created the concept in response to a survey conducted in 2012 that asked 717 respondents different questions measuring the need of a new fitness center. Most respondents wanted more space, better equipment, more convenient hours, better air circulation, and access to more popular equipment.
The survey was propelled especially after an apparent recruiting disadvantage that was notice by K’s staff. “Our exercise facilities were not offering the students a complete package of options,” said Manstrom. “A lot of high schools have better exercising machines than we do.”
Following the Library’s renovation in 2005 and Hicks’ in 2008, Manstrom said the new Fitness Center would finish the “missing piece” that would “give students the opportunity of a well-rounded experience.”