New wellness center on hold

Rebecca Schultze

Rebecca Schultze

SDSU cannot yet go forward with their plans to begin construction of a new wellness center.

Although the South Dakota Board of Regents approved the plan, according to HPER department head and Athletic Director Fred Oien, no bill was sponsored for approval during the 2003 South Dakota legislative session.

The proposed location of the new facility is at the south endzone of the practice football field, directly north of the HPER Center, Shari Landmark, director of the Wellness Center, said.

Oien said the wellness center is needed for the quality of student life.

“The next step,” Oien said, “is to go back in and re-study all the programming we want in this facility, and go back in and get legislative approval in 2004.”

Oien said that when the new wellness facility is complete, students will have uninterrupted service.

Until that time, SDSU students still have access to the Wellness Center located in the HPER Center at no charge, but with time infringements. The center must partially or completely close its doors to exercisers during athletic events, the science fair, the state Future Farmers of America convention, the SDSU Wacipi , SDSU graduation ceremonies and other activities throughout the year.

A newsletter and calendar are published each month with the facilities’ closings. The calendars are available at the service desk, the weight room and in the pool area.

“If there is an event that comes up out of the blue, then we do our best to make signs and post them in the facility,” Landmark said.

Outside groups can rent the HPER Center for $750 plus maintenance fees, Roxy Cook, Intercollegiate athletics secretary, said. The rental fee except for maintenance fees is waived for on-campus groups.

SDSU students have been able to use the Wellness Center for free since 1992.

Oien said community membership fees maintain the Wellness Center. Otherwise, the Athletic, Intramural and Recreation Committee gave a one-time allocation of $5,000 to pay for new equipment. AIR distributes the student activity fee budget.

The Wellness Center does not have enough equipment for the approximately 1,000 students who use the facility and the 500 community members, but the budget is too tight right now to purchase any new equipment.

“I try to fight for a new piece [of equipment] every year,” Landmark said about expanding the number of cardio equipment, which includes two running treadmills, three walking treadmills, three elliptical trainers, six stair-steppers, rowing machines, cross-country ski machines and stationary bicycles. “As a [previous] student here, I know how important it is to come exercise.”

Landmark said she experiences frustration in how long it takes fix equipment as well.

Students and Wellness Center members also have access to two weight rooms, the 1/8-mile track, and the pool during the Wellness Center hours.

An alternative work-out can be obtained in the Intramural Building, commonly know as the Barn, when the Wellness Center is closed. The Intramural Building has four racketball courts, a martial arts room, a weight room and a free-play court. Students must be flexible if they want to use the free-play courts, though, since they are closed off during the spring semester from 2 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 2 to 6 p.m. on Friday for team practices.

Students and community members can expand their workout options by purchasing a $50 cardio card that provides access to spinning classes, water aerobics and land aerobics.

Christel Liebig, a fourth-year biology/pre-med major from Gettysburg, uses the Wellness Center five or six days a week, altering her schedule depending on the Wellness Center hours. She said that she doesn’t mind paying for spinning, but she wishes that she could use the spinning bicycles outside of scheduled classes.

“If we have a cardio card then obviously we know how to use [the bicycles] and care for the equipment,” she said. Liebig would like to see more workout options available “because there’s only so many things you can do.”

Unitl a new facility is approved and constructed, students will have to continue to work around the Wellness Center’s varying schedule and work with what is available.

#1.887228:2821423868.jpg:hper.jpg:Signs posted outside the HPER weight room alert patrons when varsity athletics are using the facilities. During HPER events, students who want to use the wellness facilities face conflicts.: