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The Statement is The Michigan your place.
Daily's news magazine, distributed
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From Page 6B
Canning said that the philoso-
phy in creating modern fitness cen-
ters demands more natural lighting
and larger windows in order to
make the space seem more open.
He added that .the state-of-the-
art technology for cardiovascular
machines includes individual mul-
timedia stations with each piece of
equipment so that users can enter-
tain themselves without worrying
about dropping iPods or balancing
If you'd like to see a modern
weight room and gymnasium for
students on campus, venture to the
basement of the new Ross School
of Business. The center features
brand new equipment and nine
large flat-screen TVs lining the wall
in front of the elliptical machines.
Of course, you can only go here if
you're in the business school and
pay the $100 membership fee. Kine-
siology students must be scratching
their heads in frustration. r
At the three facilities open to
all students, the atmosphere of the
weightrooms is thesame. No televi-
sions, music playing or windows -
just musty air filled with the smell
of sweat and the sound of weights
dropping on the rubber floors,
punctuated with a few grunts. At
many times during the day, people
wait in line to use 25- and 30-pound
dumbbells while heavier weights
Cardiovascular rooms at cam-
pus's main buildings differ a bit
more. At times in the IMSB, a pleas-
ant breeze and the sound of birds
permeates from outside. But the
main room at the CCRB resembles
a sweaty, windowless dungeon,
and many of the cardiovascular
machines are in a former racquet-
ball court. The NCRB is perhaps
the most pitiful - space is so lim-
ited that elliptical machines stand
in the front hallway.
For some of the common use
equipment, it's only a matter of time
until upgrades will be unavoidable.
Canning said that some tread-
mills in the IMSB are approaching
120,000 miles of usage. He estimat-
ed that the lifetime of the average
treadmill is roughly a third of that
and credited an outstanding main-
tenance crew for getting the most
from the machines.
Although the . maintenance
workers should be commended for
lengthening the lifespan of equip-
ment, the statistics from the report
scream for the revamping of fitness
centers across campus. With ellip-
tical machines on their last legs,
campus gyms exemplify the "high
school gymnasium and weight
room" atmosphere that the task
force alluded to in its report.
The task before the administra-
tion, should they choose to go for-
ward with the recommendations,
is immense. But the University
of Michigan is a massive institu-
tion with excellent resources, and
many smaller schools with fewer
resources have been able to pro-
vide top-notch facilities for their
Listed in the report as schools
with admirable, contemporary
facilities were nearby Oakland Uni-
versity, Miami University in Ohio
and Saginaw Valley State Univer-
sity, a Division III school.
"In terms of lifting and total
workout space, it was actually larg-
er at Miami, a school less than half
the size of Michigan," said Kend-
all, who spent his freshman year at
While the endowment is not
where funding would come from
for new facilities at the Univer-
sity of Michigan, it is worth not-
ing that its endowment of $6.5
billion is approximately 20 times
that of Miami - which illustrates
a huge disparity in overall financial
resources between the schools.
The pool in the CCRB is open for lap swimming during set hours
IS IT FEASIBLE?
Allocating more funds toward
recreational facilities as outlined
in the report recommendations
would mean either cuts to depart-
ments or a tuition hike, Provost
Sullivan told The Michigan Daily
in an article published Mar. 31.
Because of that, Sullivan wasn't
sure to what extent the adminis-
tration would adopt new projects
for improving facilities.
On the other hand, the task force
,seemed to already have found the
"A majority of students said they
would easily pay a $100 fee for new
recreation facilities at U of M," the
task force wrote in its Recreation
Feasibility Study after consulting
their focus group.
Within the same study, one
student was also quoted saying,
"This is Michigan, and we don't do
things halfway! We have the Big
House; we should also have the Big
Still, with the national economy
in shambles, there is the question
of whether taking on more proj-
ects at this time really the respon-
sible thing to do.
While many schools have cut
new projects and spending, Can-
ning proposed that conditions are
actually quite favorable for the
University to take on such a proj-
"There are lots of people -
architects, planners, suppliers,
trade skill workers - who are look-
ing for work right now," Canning .
said. "That becomes a very advan-
tageous time to have a project go
out for a competitive bid."
Even if prices for such a project
don't come at much of a discount,
there is also the positive external-
ity of creating jobs through the
The University applied this New
Deal strategy with the $108 mil-
lion purchase of the Pfizer facility
in January, where it aims to cre-
ate more than 2,000 jobs over the
course of a decade.
Sullivan also told the Daily that
the proposals to fund recreational
facilities do fit wellwith recent Uni-
versity initiatives. She described
one as promoting "active lifestyles
for students and faculty," appar-
ently referencing the MHealthy
campaign begun in 2005 by Presi-
dent Mary Sue Coleman.
The link between new fitness
facilities and more active lifestyles
doesn't need too much explaining.
Sullivan also saw new facilities
helping admission, another aim of
Improving recreational sports
and fitness facilities is something
students and faculty both want.
The studies presented also show
that students are willing to pay for
it, and it's something that lines up
perfectly with the priorities of the
University's administration while
aiding the economy. In short, the
time is now.
"The statement that keeps ring-
ing in my hear is, 'Why can't our
facilities be better?"' Canning said.
"Because we have the leaders and
best. And that's an expectation."
The outside of the CCRB is much more open and welcoming then its cramped and stuffy workout rooms.