The Independence Blue Cross Student Recreation Center reopened last week after undergoing a renovation this summer.
The renovation, which began May, added new cardio and strength-training equipment, reorganized the gym’s layout and updated its locker rooms, according to a university release. It also added two gender-inclusive shower rooms.
The university renovated the facility’s main entrance, added new lighting and paint and removed two of its four racquetball courts.
The Board of Trustees budgeted $2.7 million for the project in December. Its design cost $202,000.
The IBC, on 15th and Montgomery streets, remained closed the entire summer due to the renovations. Other facilities around campus extended their hours to accommodate students, The Temple News reported.
The university continues to finalize its renovation in some areas, including the addition of permanent lockers, which will not be added until late September due to manufacturing delays, wrote John Doman, the director of Campus Recreation, in a letter to the university community.
In addition to a free weights room and group fitness studios, the facility houses a three-lane indoor track and outdoor tennis courts.
Jacob Lee, a junior mechanical engineering major, said he is upset the gym has less equipment for weightlifting, which means longer wait times at squat and bench racks.
“I’m just surprised about how they went from a complex gym with multiple workout options to a gym that’s just machines and cardio,” Lee said.
“I’m disappointed and so are a lot of my friends who use the IBC,” he added.
Ivy Attenborough, a senior mechanical engineering major, wishes that for all the money spent on new equipment, they could’ve added more benches instead of cycling machines, she said.
“The ratio of weights to benches is ridiculous,” Attenborough said. “The benches are almost always full but the extra machines they put in are rarely ever occupied, there’s too much open space and not enough benches for lifting.”
Sara Valko, a senior sport and recreation management major, usually does her lifting at STAR, but said she will use IBC more following its renovation.
“When I first heard they were renovating, I was nervous because I wasn’t sure what was going to change,” Valko said. “But when I showed up for the first time last Tuesday, it looked so aesthetically pleasing, and I can’t wait to continue working out there.”