One year and $22 million dollars later, the Leslie C. Quick, Jr. Recreation Complex is finally completed. A mob of excited students, who were waiting for this moment since the project was announced in 2014, entered the new RecPlex for the first time as soon as it opened to the public on Sept. 2. Immediately after the opening, some students already in workout clothing began using the facility, taking advantage of the opportunity to be among the first students to use it.

The facility was met with almost unanimous support from students. Senior Kelsey Laforest couldn’t be more satisfied with the changes.

“The old gym [RecPlex] was horrible. My friends and I had to join The Edge downtown to use the gym up until now because we didn’t like going to the old one. The updated RecPlex is awesome and I love that we get to be a part of the new development even if it is only for one year.”

Last year, while the gym was being built, options to workout were relatively limited for students. The equipment from the entire RecPlex, including the cardio and free weight machines, were all relocated to one room in Alumni Hall. Fairfield also began a program called FairfieldFit where students instructed classes such as Zumba across campus. Although the gym could still be used, many students chose to exercise at other local gyms like The Edge or Planet Fitness. Students expressed their relief when returning to campus and having a gym in walking distance.

“Last year we had no gym, so this year it’s much better; it’s much more convenient than going to The Edge or another gym off campus,” said Shane Gregory ‘18. “There’s brand new equipment, which is definitely nice, a larger weight room and then there’s the track which is especially nice when it’s raining outside or it’s winter.”

Associate Vice President for Facilities Management David Frassinelli also commented on the positive responses he has heard about the RecPlex.

“The fact that the cardio is all organized in one space appeals to students,” Frassinelli said. “A good amount of the cardio didn’t even have exterior windows [in the old RecPlex], so now they have exterior windows so that when you’re working out, it’s light and you can look out the window.”

The RecPlex is now three levels with the top floor being dedicated to cardio. Fairfield has added a total of 28 additional cardio machines, tallying for a total of 78 machines as opposed to the 50 machines last year. The second floor, also the central floor, is where individuals can utilize the weight room, as well as the field house where there are courts to play basketball, volleyball and tennis. On the ground floor, there were huge changes in the layout. In addition to an updated racquet ball room, there are now five rooms for classes and free use by members.

Director of Recreation John Paladino has noted the overwhelmingly positive response of students to the new RecPlex. Students particularly enjoy the new equipment, the fieldhouse courts, exercise rooms, spin room and the elevated track, according to Paladino.

This year, Fairfield continued to go with the FairfieldFit campaign using the rooms for classes like 30-minute abs, Zumba, yoga and spin. In order to participate in the class, members can sign up through a site called IMLeagues that handles registration for intramurals, the fitness classes and sports clubs. On IMLeagues, which is available both on the desktop and as an application, individuals have up to 72 hours beforehand to register for the class before spots fill up. According to Jenny Schwartz ‘18, in order to teach these classes you must be Aerobics and Fitness Association of America certified. Schwartz teaches cardio, kickboxing and strength, and is also Zumba certified.

“I love it this year because last year I was in Alumni Hall gym,” said Schwartz. “There were no mirrors or weight equipment. It’s easier for me to teach with mirrors so I can make sure everyone has proper form.”

However, not all of the responses were completely positive.

Junior Matthew Marchand commented, “The RecPlex is pretty nice. They’re missing a few things like ten pound plates. Every gym but this one has ten pound plates. They’re also missing foam rollers, which are essential. But overall, it’s pretty nice.”

After only two weeks since the opening, the RecPlex will continue to improve. The Director of Recreation, John Paladino, listens for student opinions on the RecPlex.

Paladino has noted the overwhelmingly positive response of students to the new RecPlex. Students particularly enjoy the new equipment, the fieldhouse courts, exercise rooms, spin room and the elevated track, according to Paladino.

“Feedback has been great. It seems that most people entering the facility really are amazed. Even though they’ve been seeing images for a long time, they are still amazed at the final product.”

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-- Junior | Co-News Editor -- English: Education

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