Mo Re Kim ’24—personal trainer—explained that the renovation process for the Village B/C fitness area has begun, he said in an interview with The Brandeis Hoot. The fitness room is currently closed due to renovations, according to a sign placed on the entrance door.
According to Kim, the ellipticals, bikes and stair machine currently present in the fitness center will remain, though they will be upgraded to newer models. In addition, the renovations will add strength training equipment which will allow the center’s visitors to “do full-body strength [workouts].” Kim elaborated, saying that the Village fitness center would have late hours, meaning that students seeking to “supplement [their] workouts” later in the day would have a place to do so.
Kim told The Hoot that these renovations have been in the works for a few years. He added that funding for these renovations came from Community Emergency and Enhancement Fund (CEEF) — a fund for student-led initiatives and emergencies on campus, according to The Department of Student Engagement page. Kim noted that last year, upon inspection, the current status of fitness facilities was subpar.
Kim pointed out that “a lot of the equipment was 10 plus years old,” citing the “iPhone four chargers on them, which are at least a decade old.”
Kim added that the plan to replace fitness equipment on campus involved working with Brandeis Athletics and the Department of Community Living (DCL). The proposal to improve fitness equipment on campus was submitted in October of last year and Kim heard back from CEEF after February break this year. After presenting his ideas to CEEF, it was determined that this project would receive the funding necessary to “renovate the fitness facilities and fix the old and [broken]-down equipment.” Kim went on to say that the project is “now in the process of finalizing our contracts with the athletic equipment company. We’re going to be repainting and trying to make the place a lot more nice and safe.” These renovations will likely be “finished by the end of semester,” Kim said.
When asked what other fitness areas on campus are in need of improvement, Kim said that “other than … the main weight room at Gosman … the next target of ours is Rosenthal North.” Specifically, Kim added that “Rosenthal North has three pieces of equipment, [and] two out of three … are broken.” Kim later explained the rationale for prioritizing the Village fitness center for renovations: “So … the athletic coordinator and I … discussed [how] this was a big problem. We just first wanted to figure out what to do with the Village B/C [fitness center]. That’s why we first applied for that. [We] realized that … most of the equipment is completely broken, so people … cannot use it. …But now that we’ve got the Village B/C plan moving … we really shifted our sights to figure out [where the most good could be done]. And, luckily for us … although the fitness facilities in the dormitory halls are not the nicest … all of the equipment [other than at Rosenthal North] is functional.”
Kim elaborated on the need for additional renovations in the Gosman general weight room. He stressed that the “petition is not meaningless and that [your] votes can help make a change,” referring to a petition targeted towards Brandeis students and faculty calling for upgrades to the general weight room. As of the time of writing, this petition has accrued over 540 signatures from current students and alumni.
Kim explained that “we’re not gonna be throwing away the old equipment. Some of it, the ellipticals for example are functional. We’re gonna likely move those to other parts of campus… I believe an elliptical and a bike are going to the Human Performance Lab … and other facilities on campus.” Kim explained that plans aren’t finalized yet, though. “Once we finalize our contract,” he added, “we’ll move them wherever demand seems to be highest.” He also shared a video walkthrough showing what the new fitness center in Village would look like.