New workout facility opening in Tri-Towers on Tuesday


Steven Langdon stands in the newly constructed Recreation Facility in the Tri-Towers rotunda on Kent State University Friday Jan. 13, 2016.

Andrew Atkins

The new on-campus recreation center at Kent State is opening on the second floor of the Tri-Towers Rotunda today.

The facility is part of a larger renovation that includes a new tutoring classroom and a new, larger laundry room.

Brian Hellwig, assistant director of residential communities, said the laundry room will serve as a centralized location for Tri-Tower residents to do laundry. 

On-campus residents will have exclusive access to the workout space, which will be open seven days a week.

On Mondays through Thursdays the facility will be open from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m., Fridays from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m, according to Kimberly Rufra, senior associate director of Recreational Services.

The space is meant to be a more casual alternative for students who may find the main Rec Center overwhelming, Rufra said.

Steven Langdon, marketing coordinator for the Department of Recreational Services, encourages students to use the space as a judgment free-zone while doing laundry.

“Come up in your pj’s and work out,” he said.

The facility resulted from a collaboration between Recreational Services and Residence Services, Rufra said. Both services are within the Division of Student Affairs. Residence Services provided the space, Rufra said, and Recreational Services provided the equipment and staff of about 15-20 new student staff members.  

Recreational Services also purchased about 75 new machines for the space, Langdon said.

For now, Rufra said she is waiting to see how the new facility is received before they make any changes and that Recreational Services wants to “make sure we’re doing everything we can to make the facility accessible for all.”

In a poll on KentWired’s Twitter page, 72 percent of 288 people responding said they felt the facility would be more convenient. Twenty-eight percent said they’d rather go to the main Rec center.

In a reply to the poll, Twitter use @AmandaLCYork wrote that they believe  the new facility would be a positive.

“Considering the rec is the size of an LA fitness for a whole school + residents of Kent we needed this,” she wrote.

There will be a grand opening at 12:30 p.m. and the space will be open immediately after.

Andrew Atkins is an assigning editor, contact him at [email protected].