By Megan Hansen/News editor

Eastern has a new addition and this one is state-of-the art. The new Fitness and Wellness Center opened July 28 but the official grand opening will not be until Sept.16.

Billy Martin, the director of student recreation said, “The staff of the Fitness and Wellness are excited to try to get students involved in fitness.”

The new center has a 10,000-square-foot cardio and weights studio as well as a 2,000-square-foot group fitness room, a 1/8-mile indoor track and two multipurpose courts we can use for basketball, volleyball or badminton.

Martin said there are 35 cardio machines, 35 nautilus weight machines, 15 plate loaded weight machines and a variety of free weights in the cardio and weights studio. Twenty-five of the 35 cardio machines are equipped with flat panel televisions that have DVD and CD players built in.

“We are the only university in Kentucky to have flat panel televisions on cardio equipment,” Martin said. “The only thing students should know is they need to bring their own headphones. This way you can listen to or watch whatever you want.”

In order for students to use the new center, they have to either bring a towel or they can rent towels for the semester for $15 or for a year for $25.

“When a student rents towels from us they will be able to use both hand towels and bath towels,” Martin said. “If they want to take a shower here and you rent towels we will let you use a bath towel.”

Martin said an advantage to renting towels is it keeps a student from having to remember to bring a towel out and wash them.

Lockers are also available for students to rent.

“We have both full-size lockers and half-size lockers for rent,” Martin said.

A full size locker is $25 for a semester or $50 for the year and half lockers are $15 for a semester or $30 for the year.

“Everything else is free,” Martin said.

The Fitness and Wellness Center will be offering a variety of group fitness classes beginning on Aug. 30 and running through the middle of December.

“These group fitness classes are totally free,” Martin said. “Students do have to go online to sign up for the classes though.”

To sign up for a group fitness class, students can go to eku.timetrade.com.

If students fail to show up for three of their group classes, they will not be able to register for any more group classes during the semester.

The classes being offered in the center are:

* cardio conditioning

* rock bottom

* kickboxing

* step

* yoga/pilates

* Hard Rock Caf

* one-n-tight’n

* bootcamp.

Schedules for group fitness and descriptions of each class are available in the Fitness and Wellness Center.

Martin said he hopes the center will be able to offer personal training in the spring.

“You’ll have to pay to have a personal trainer but this is a feature we have not had here at Eastern before,” he said.

Eastern’s Intramural program is now located in the new center.

“A majority of our intramural programs will be free this year,” Martin said.

Nichole Gibson is a senior anthropology major from Louisville who is excited about the new center.

“I think it’s a great center,” she said. “I like how it’s set up and the safety features on the equipment. It’s like a real gym.”

Gibson said it was worth all the parking spaces that were lost to build the new building.

Ryan Hortman, a senior psychology major from Dayton agrees with Gibson.

“I think this center is incredible,” he said. “I think it’s better than any of the private gyms I’ve seen.”

The Fitness and Wellness Center is a state of art center for students but faculty and staff are not permitted to use the center.

“We are going to establish student user patterns and hopefully in about a month, we will be able to open up the center for faculty use,” Martin said.

“If faculty want to use the center, they will have to become paid members of the facility. It will cost $180 a year to use.”

Martin said he expects that nearly 1,000 students a day will use the center.

The Fitness and Wellness Center is open Monday thru Thursday from 6 a.m. – 11 p.m., Friday from 6 a.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday from noon – 8 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. – 10 p.m.

“We are extremely excited about the center,” Martin said.

Reach Megan at

megan_hansen4@eku.edu