It’s safe to say that Georgia State’s Student Recreation Center (SRC) pulled off the best “summer-bod” of the year. In just under two months, the Department of Recreational Services and Georgia State Project Management completed renovations throughout the SRC, so now students can even enjoy a few added benefits with their workout. Assistant Director of Fitness Jenny Lehigh, sat down with The Signal to share the ins and outs of the renovations.
Since 2001, the Department of Recreational Services has offered a great service to students by providing a place to sweat out all their frustrations in a fun, friendly environment. As the student population grew at Georgia State, so did the foot traffic in the SRC. Housing many different programs such as intramural sports, club sports and fitness classes, it doesn’t take much to guess why a multitude of students frequented the SRC.
However, around 2011, the popularity of the SRC led to the demands for more space to accommodate the rising foot traffic. Lehigh also mentioned that the Department employs “over 15 professional staff members” and “up to 20 graduate students as well,” so the need for more administrative space became another goal of the renovations.
The Game Plan
Despite what it would take to accomplish the renovations, there was a clear path to the finish line. Students may have been concerned that the costs of the new renovations would have influenced a fluctuation in their student fees. Rest assured, that was not the case.
The Department of Recreational Services counts on the Georgia State Foundation in a similar way as how a renter might count on a landlord. There was an agreement between the Department and Georgia State Foundation that while the Department of Recreational Services was paying off their mortgage, Georgia State Foundation would handle costs of the structural components of the building. These include things like flooring, walls, and lights.
“Because of the nature of this project, they were actually able to fund it. So, that’s why the students didn’t see an increase in their fees, or anything like that,” Lehigh said.
In reference to the physical work the renovations required, Georgia State’s Project Management Team orchestrated what Lehigh described as “a lot of moving pieces,” including “contractors, engineers, and different subcontractors.”
Project Management handled the renovations efficiently enough to complete them in the proposed time frame—between May 1 and the first day of classes. The free weight area reopened two days before classes even began.
Lehigh was glad to confirm that “the timeline was decided around last November or December, and we have stuck to it.” She said that the tight time frame was the toughest hurdle to get over, but lucky for students everything went as planned and they even beat the clock in the end.
The SRC’s Body Transformation
After discussing the pretenses of the new look that the SRC would receive, Lehigh explained the upgrades the students could look forward to as they get their gains for bulking season. “I think the things you’re going to see is more power racks, dedicated deadlifting space and new flooring,” Lehigh said.
- New Flooring
The whole free-weight area and the expansion area which is located downstairs in the SRC received new flooring that is beneficial in multiple ways. The new flooring helps keep the machines in place on the floor due to the traction. Also, to limit the stress put on weight-lifters, the new state-of-the-art flooring is shock absorbent, which is especially helpful to Panthers who never miss “leg day.”
- Power Racks
Speaking of “leg day,” the Department decided to blow out the Squash Court to create space for three new power racks. Lack of power racks was a main complaint of students before the renovations took place, and the SRC listened. Lehigh recalls from before the renovations that “our biggest request was more squat racks, more squat racks, more squat racks…So, that’s what we got.” The power racks can be used for an array of workouts like squatting, shoulder presses and pull-ups.
- Dedicated Deadlifting Space
Students can come out of lifting in a power rack and step right into the open floor space made specifically for dead or power lifting. This new space allows people to free up power rack space when deadlifting. Students should also note that the Department of Recreational Services does not allow Olympic Lifting. The new space was included in the renovations so lifters could have a safe place to lift, but also so that the staff could regulate rules like their no Olympic Lifting policy.
Do you even “SRC”?
As mentioned before, the Department of Recreational Services continues to offer a wide variety of programs. With unique clubs like Equestrian Club, Paintball Club, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Club, Lehigh doesn’t foresee any extra programs being added to the already extensive list.
Above all, the Department wants to continue the great programs they offer, as well as satiate the drop-in user. One of the major goals of the renovations is to assure that drop-in users will have enough space and enough equipment to satisfy everyone, which the Department accomplished with the new additions.
If students are interested in getting involved with the Department of Recreational Services, they can visit their website, for information on programs, or to fill out a rolling application. Lehigh hinted that there may be even more renovations coming in the near future, so make sure the next time you ask, “do you even lift,” to suggest that they do so at Georgia State’s Student Recreation Center.