Sandbags, kettlebells and various kinds of weights can be found in the Tar Heel Training Center, which used to be the sixth racquetball court of Fetzer Hall.
Lauren Mangili, senior associate director of Campus Recreation, said the total cost of the facility was $15,000 and includes new training equipment, flooring and other accessories.
“The floor was damaged and needed to be replaced to be used for anything, actually, so they removed the wooden floor, and they replaced it with a rubber flooring,” she said.
For $55 a semester or $5 a day, students have unlimited access to the facility during drop-in hours. Campus Recreation is also offering a free one-day trial for first-time users. Drop-in hours are two-hour periods throughout the week when individuals can use the gym without participating in a group class.
Nick Gregory, strength and conditioning intern for Campus Recreation, said two students have bought semester passes so far.
Liz Walz, Campus Recreation’s fitness coordinator, said the passes are necessarily expensive because of the costs of renovation, equipment and staff.
“It was really expensive to convert this space, and the specialty equipment isn’t standard, you know, and it’s expensive,” Walz said. “The space is monitored, and that’s outside of our budget as of right now ... (but) if you’re basing it off of prices that other universities have, it’s actually quite reasonable.”
Gregory said use of the same equipment costs individuals two to three times as much at other gyms.
Walz said Campus Recreation wants to make back the money it spent.
“We’re definitely looking to hope to break even ... You have to be able to continually offer and update your facilities, update your equipment, and all that kind of stuff,” she said. “So you have to be able to charge for certain things that are extra and above and beyond in order to cover your costs.”
Walz said a fitness consultant will be present during all drop-in hours to make sure the specialty equipment is used properly.
She said she believes there is a student demand for special types of training equipment.
“There is also just a lot of really cool fitness equipment out there, and we wanted students to have access to this equipment,” said Walz.
Gregory said the new facility was created for small group training participants and niche athletes like Olympic weightlifters, power weightlifters and CrossFitters who had not been able to practice their sports on campus in the past.
“We’re really trying to develop a community on campus for them,” Gregory said.