November 27, 2004

Wellness Center Nearly Complete

Students and faculty at Tulsa Community College West Campus will be able to burn off the extra holiday pounds when they return from Thanksgiving break.

The campus's new wellness center is nearly complete, with the finishing work being done on the gymnasium.

All portions of the center will be open after the break.

A couple of setbacks delayed the opening of the $4 million facility. It was scheduled to open at the beginning of the fall semester.

"The wrong roof was delivered. That was a major delay," said Mina Lotti, administrative director of physical facilities. "That took a good couple of months to get straightened out."

Additionally, moisture concerns delayed the gym floor from being laid.

"It took longer than anticipated for the moisture to burn out of the floor slab," Lotti said. "Of course, we had conflict between some of the utilities and the foundation. That took a little time to work out as well."

Lotti said the students are excited about the completion of the center.

"The delay has been very disappointing to the students," she said. "They've been very patient waiting for this."

Students at the West Campus, 7505 W. 41st St., have been able to use any of the centers located at other TCC campuses.

But the center on campus will be more accessible to many of the students.

"When you take classes at the West, it's real convenient to pop in in the morning, or between classes, to have a workout without having to go somewhere else," Lotti said.

Several courses in the fall will be available at the center including biking, yoga, aerobics, weight training and overall wellness classes.

One of the courses offered at the school, Physical Education Activity, is a self-paced course.

"We'll do fitness assessments, workouts and help people keep a food journal," said Brad Sullivan, fitness specialist. "Basically, we'll work with what their needs are."

Lotti said total wellness is important at TCC.

"The college is really emphasizing the wellness programs and it's nice to see people taking advantage of that," she said.

The 37,100-square-foot facility includes an indoor track that overlooks the gym, a cardiovascular area, an aerobics room and a free weight room.

A 360-degree, 35-foot high climbing wall is one of the unique aspects of the center.

"It's very sculptural, colorful and rather grandiose," Lotti said. "It's definitely safe, especially with a certified instructor at your side. It does take a certain amount of strength and nerve."

The new gym will also provide the campus with the space to host large events, such as convocation and welcome festivities scheduled for August.

"This is the only large multifunction space that they have," Lotti said. "They're real proud about hosting the entire college there in August."