By Nicholas Poblete/Asst. Sports Director
After a year and eight months of construction, the Wellness and Recreation Center at the Modesto Maidique Campus finally presented its 65,000 square foot expansion to the FIU community.
For Charles Judkins, a director at the center, the mission for this expansion was to showcase health and wellness as a lifestyle.
“I think it’s one of the best facilities in the country, we have all state-of-the-art equipment,” Judkins said. “We wanted to set ourselves apart from any other facility, whether it’s on a university campus, or in the public sector.”
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 4, while the grand opening of the south entrance was at 1 p.m.
The three-floored $25 million expansion will allow guests to enjoy 225 new pieces of equipment, indoor basketball courts, that can also be used as volleyball courts, an indoor track on the third floor, racquetball courts and a squash court, among many other amenities.
Daniella Alzamora, a junior majoring in sports and fitness, works at the Wellness and Recreation Center as a facility attendant. The junior has been working at the center since August and views the expansion as a great way for students to get away from the stress of their academics.
“I think it’s an amazing opportunity, and a great addition to FIU in general,” said Alzamora. “I think it’s going to really captivate what we want in students for fitness and recreational purposes.”
Adding 65,000 square feet, the center is now at a total of 120,000 square feet and the gym now has more than 364 pieces of workout equipment.
Yessenia Allison, a senior majoring in dietetics and nutrition, is one of the personal trainers at the Wellness and Recreation Center.
“We [Personal Trainers] now have a space for us to train our clients without being in the way, and we get to use the equipment we need for the workouts,” Allison said. “Also, sometimes clients are very discrete and don’t like when others are watching, so having our own space really helps with providing our clients with high-quality service.”
The expansion was created so students could have a place to enjoy their leisure time. Whether students wanted to run a few laps around the track, take a cycling class, play basketball or just lounge around in designated areas, the important thing was making sure that students felt like they were in their second home, Judkins said.
Although the Wellness and Recreation Center expansion opened, there are still a few more additions the gym is trying to make, such as the outside basketball courts, media package, lockers and speakers must be completed.
The Wellness and Recreation Center at MMC is open Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m., on Friday’s from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday’s from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday’s from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.