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Opening Exercises

New fitness facility has something for everyone

Dartmouth's new Fitness Center opened April 19, bringing a dramatic change to the College's facilities for recreational fitness. Occupying the top two levels of Alumni Gymnasium, the renovated 14,000-square-foot space boasts a full complement of sophisticated exercise equipment, including cardio machines, free-weight stations, circuit machines, dumbbells, a spinning room, and new workout and classroom space for Fitness and Lifestyle Improvement Program (FLIP) classes, among other state-of-the-art offerings.

New fitness center
Visitors arrive to check out Dartmouth's new fitness center at the April 19 opening and reception.
Fitness Center
The new cardio machines are all equipped with television screens or external views. (Photos by Sarah Benelli)

One of the most prominent features of the new space is light, spilling in through clerestory windows recovered from the original building and restored for this new use. The front entrance to Alumni Gym now also features a regraded, landscaped front lawn and a gently sloping walkway that provides access to all levels of the facility.

The new space, 3.5 times larger than the original Kresge Fitness Center, includes several new multi-use areas for physical education instruction, fitness classes, club sports practices, and other recreational programs.

"The students were instrumental in identifying the need for us to have fuller, more extensive fitness options," President James Wright says. "The Board of Trustees and I recognized the importance of recreational fitness to the total Dartmouth experience, so we were all pleased to find a way to move ahead with this wonderful facility. This plan represents the best of Dartmouth's respect for the past as we build our future."

Director of Athletics Josie Harper noted at the opening ceremony that the renovation process appeared to be a smooth one but added, "It's a little more like duck syndrome. It may have looked calm on the surface but there were a lot of people who paddled hard to make this happen."

The new fitness center is part of a comprehensive program to improve Dartmouth's athletic facilities, which includes the completion of the Corey Ford Rugby Clubhouse (dedicated last fall), replacement of Memorial Field track with artificial turf, construction of a new varsity athletics facility, and an NCAA-approved intercollegiate soccer field named for former soccer coach Alden "Whitey" Burnham.

By LAUREL STAVIS

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Last Updated: 12/17/08