Maintenence, staff costs prompt fitness referendum


Emily Faust / Clarion

A student referendum will be held this spring to increase student fees to help with costs associated with the fitness center.

Kelly Feng, Managing Editor

When the renovated and upgraded fitness center reopened last April it had doubled in size, boasting over 8,100 square feet. These improvements include adding new strength and cardio equipment, along with TRX, squat racks, dumbbells and benches that all match industry standards and some offer multi-function uses.
It was important not only to keep up with industry standards but also to research the previous facility and make decisions based on what prior equipment had the most usage.
Fitness Center Director and Athletic Business and Facility Operations Manager Bill Kegler notes the importance of the new equipment, as it elevates the equipment with current industry standards. Many of their decisions came from studying the last center.
“We did research on that based on the original fitness center. What equipment had the highest usage? Then we were able to plan for that when accommodating this fitness center.”
Kegler is proud of the facility but also realizes the need for a new referendum, requiring the athletic department to increase the fitness center fee by 25 cents a credit next year and 3% a year after that. The Student Senate conduct the referendum on behalf of the athletic department this spring.
The referendum is not exactly new.
As Kegler explains there was a referendum done around a decade ago. It’s been in place to run for 10 years, however, it’s expiring at the end of this fiscal year. The following is what the new referendum covers:

The increase has been in place to help sustain the cost of the fitness center with increased wages for student workers. It also takes into staff considerations, ensuring there is enough manpower during all hours.

While the facility was upgraded and expanded, not all equipment was replaced, as the center still utilizes existing equipment. At some point in the future, it will need to be replaced.

Because the center needs more equipment, the staff has more to clean and maintain. As a result, the cost of preventative maintenance for all the equipment has increased.
“There’s a substantial cost with planning in the future, so we can continue to have functional equipment in the fitness center,” said Kegler, who’s now in his seventh year with the college. “The last thing we want is to have six out-of-order signs on machines when students come in. We want everything to be operational.”
Kegler said while they need to propose a new referendum for the purposes of the fitness center, it is a continuation of what has already been in place.

Recreation App
Anybody at the college can use the facility. Students require at least one-degree credit. If a student is in a certificate program, they can purchase one card, which gives them access to the facility for the entire school for $75.
It’s important to Kegler and his staff to make everybody’s fitness journey accessible and easy. He’s excited about all the available resources, particularly the Madison College Recreation app.
The app offers a QR code that scans at the front desk for students to use the facility. Through the app or their website, students can sign up and utilize the resources.
Also available on the college website, that app comes with many free resources to help people in their wellness journey, such as Headspace, a mindfulness and well-being app.
Headspace offers resources to help with sleeping, meditation or breathing through exercises. The app also provides resources such as video workouts for students who aren’t coming to campus.
“So students typically have their phones in their hands most of the time anyway, so we just lean into that and gave them access to it. So they have it right at their fingertips.”
The staff welcomes students to tour the facility. They are available to encourage exercise newbies, where they will show available equipment and walk them through its uses. The fitness center is open Monday through Thursday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.