Changes in Gym Too Little, Too Late?

Absence of Free Weights Leaves the Future of the Fitness Center in Doubt


Published: November 20, 2008

In terms of finding Lincoln Center pride, the fitness center has traditionally been the last place to look. While Rose Hill has a modern weight room to go along with squash courts and a pool, the fitness center has been an Achilles Heel to the campus here in Manhattan.

At an Residence Hall Association (RHA) forum held on Nov. 6, other questions and concerns about the center were dealt with, including the unlikely possibility that free weights will ever come to Lincoln Center.

The fitness center in McMahon Hall added two punching bags to the treadmills and weight machines already occupying the cramped facility. (Jonathan Armenti/The Observer)

“We proposed to mat a certain area of the fitness center (for free weights), and we were turned down.This is something we are still pursuing, but nothing is concrete right now,” said Casey Penrod, FCLC ’09, RHA vice president and chair of the capital improvements committee.

Much of the resistance to free weights focuses on the potential damage they could cause to the fitness center floor, which is comprised of concrete slabs with carpet, tile or rubber glued to them. Dropping a heavy weight on the floor could leave a hole that is hard to repair.

In addition, the fitness center is located on the second floor of McMahon Hall, so heavy damage to the floor could harm the ceiling of the first floor under it. It does not seem like the fitness room could go anywhere else in the building, either. The floors are structured the same throughout the building.

But with the recent additions of a heavy bag and speed bag for boxing, Lincoln Center is making strides to provide a more respectable environment for working out.

“The heavy bag is the one thing that I’ve needed to seriously work out,” said Carlos Aguayza, FCLC ’09, who spends time boxing when not in class. “Now that it’s here at Fordham, I don’t have to take the trip downtown as much to hit
the bag.”

Although the boxing equipment is a welcome addition, it may be the most expansion the center sees for a while. There is not much room to add more fitness machines, and there is question over the demand for additional improvements.

“When I go during the day, it’s usually just me and maybe another guy or two,” said Alex Corazon, FCLC ’11, “Nice peace and quiet, I’d say.”

The occasional emptiness of the fitness center has given RHA another idea this past semester. With carbon footprint technology, the lights automatically shut off if no one is traced in the room after 15 minutes. Though not given as much attention as the heavy bag and speed bag, this newest innovation is a way that Fordham is conserving energy and money in a lagging economy.

“I feel like we, as residents, have made significant progress in updating the fitness center,” said Kelley Mowatt, FCLC ’09, RHA president. “It is a gradual process, but it is something we can promise the residents of McMahon we are working on.”

The Lincoln Center campus is also going through some changes in the next few years, with an expanded campus surfacing before 2013. Penrod mentioned that as big as the new campus will be, it will lack a fitness room altogether. Where will they put the new heavy bag then?