Tuesday, April 16, 2024

PSU Unveils new Memorial Hall

Students use bench-press stations and free weights in Memorial Hall’s renovated fitness center.

 

By Kamiko Chamble

The renovated Memorial Hall is complete just in time for students to enjoy it for the spring semester.

Director of Athletics Michael Howard said that he’s most proud that Memorial “has a little bit of something for everyone.” 

Memorial Hall now features two gyms. The first gym, located on the ground floor, is the primary gym used by the volleyball team and the basketball teams for practices and competition.

The gym on the second floor is called the recreational gym and is located on the second floor. Prior to construction, the space was a pool, but it was turned into a gym in order to better accommodate student needs.

 The rec gym is a space for club and student use. Often, it is the home for club sports like volleyball, hockey, indoor soccer and dance. The rec gym also features an overlook on the ground floor with all-brand new couches and chairs.

The renovations also added a rock-climbing wall that spans two floors high.

  “Downstairs on the first floor we have the main fitness center – it’s almost three times the size of our former fitness center with brand new equipment. Over $1,000,000 of all brand-new equipment.” Michael Howard said.

 

Jayne Smith

Students using the new cardio machines in Memorial’s fitness center.

 

On the other side of the fitness center is the sports performance center, a space for members of Plattsburgh’s athletic teams. The SPC is used by student athletes for strength training. 

“Prior to this project getting complete, we were the only school in the conference that we competed in that didn’t have a space for their student athletes to be able to go in and do their strength training with their coaches,” Howard said. 

Other amenities for students include a free locker room for everyday use and an athletic training room where the athletes can go to get treated whenever they get injured. Inside the training room there are whirlpools, saunas and offices for the training staff.  On the second floor there’s an extra room for group activities like kickboxing, spin class, dancing, yoga and other kinds of  group exercise. The spacious room addressed the needs of organizations like the dance teams.

“What we heard over the last few years is that there’s just not enough space on campus, especially for dance. We have all kinds of dance groups that want places to practice and do things,” Howard said. “We weren’t able to accommodate for that before, but now we’re better equipped to offer more space for our students, so we’re really excited about that.” 

The increase in foot traffic implies that the efforts to appeal to student needs have been successful.

“Certainly we’ve had a lot of traffic down there in a way that we haven’t had in recent years, especially since the project got underway,” Head of Athletics Brian Savard said. “It’s really an incredible building.”

Savard commented that Memorial saw large changes in most of its internal layout, but the real “showstopper” was the renovations to the recreational workout space.

“I think when you take somebody down to that space who knew what the space was previously, it’s jaw-dropping to see the amount of equipment in there and the amount of space and just how nice it looks,” Savard said. 

Memorial Hall isn’t just benefiting Plattsburgh State’s students. Staff members like Matthew Salvatore benefit from the new spaces as well.  

“I’ve actually picked up my workout routine as a result of the project. There’s so much more to work with in terms of the equipment. We have things now that I never actually used before, so it sort of re-energized my interest in my own physical fitness and health,” Salvatore said.  

 A large portion of the student body have used the new spaces, proving the project’s success.

“The new Memorial Hall is loved by everyone – there’s over 500 students coming in and out of here on a daily basis,” Salvatore said. “I’m encouraged by our faculty and staff that are starting to come back.”

 

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