Fitness Center and Commuter Lounge coming this fall

A pair of projects should make for a merry Christmas season at Fresno Pacific University.

Work is set to begin in September on a Commuter Lounge and a Fitness Center on the main campus, 1717 S. Chestnut Ave., Fresno. The facilities are to open in December.

Fitness Center

The Fitness Center will be on the north end of the Special Events Center, in the old handball courts. The 3,239-square-foot center will include treadmills and other cardiovascular equipment, resistance and flexibility devices, power racks, platform weights for Olympic-style lifting and open space for exercise. There will be rubberized flooring, new air conditioning, circulation fans and TV and music systems. The nearby restrooms will be brought to Americans with Disabilities Act standards and that section of the SEC will also get a new roof and a new entrance.

The front desk will be staffed at all times by kinesiology students and others. The décor will be bright and coordinate with the school colors. At least half of the center will always be open to general use and hours will be extended to 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Monday-Friday with weekend hours planned. “We want to have a nice place for all students, faculty and staff to use,” said Don Diboll, associate professor of kinesiology. “People are not going to feel intimidated.”

Activities introduced by wellness and activities classes and nurtured in the Fitness Center will become lifelong habits for students, Diboll hopes, and faculty and staff will be able to get advice on fitness, as well. “This is for everyone on campus,” he said.

Commuter Lounge

The Commuter Lounge will be located on the first floor of East Hall in an area that was originally a lounge but has recently been used for storage. There will be a refrigerator, microwave and running water. Indirect lighting and bistro-style tables will give the 680 square feet the feel of a coffee shop.

The lounge will be in addition to the existing Commuter House on the Southeast Corner of Winery and Townsend on the south end of campus. Charlotte’s Coffee Corner and other lounge areas are not enough to serve all the resident and commuter students on the main campus. The Commuter Lounge is also a recognition of the importance of commuter students at FPU. There will be almost 700 commuter students in the traditional undergraduate program this fall, the highest number ever, said Dean of Students Randy Worden. “This makes it clear there’s something for them,” he said.

Not only will the Fitness Center and Commuter Lounge serve those already on campus, they will also help draw prospective students. “Students compare facilities at FPU with those of the other schools they visit. If we don't have certain facilities that other schools do, or our facilities by comparison seem inadequate, then the student may not seriously consider us,” Worden said.

Both projects are being built by Target Constructors, Inc., Madera, which bid $459,556 for the Fitness Center and $70,291 for the Commuter Lounge. Other expenses for the Fitness Center include an estimated $175,000-200,000 for equipment and $64,000 for the roofing.

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