Cleveland Community College has taken yet another step in its foray into college athletics.
On Monday, Cleveland Community College will host a grand opening for a multi-level fitness center for college athletes and emergency management courses.
Located in the lower level of the Jack Hunt Campus Center, in what used to be the college’s Human Resources offices, the fitness center features an upper level with exercise bicycles, stair-climbing machines and other cardiovascular exercise equipment.
One floor below, wrapped in the college’s new blue and highlighter green color scheme, sit more than four stations with four weight racks each, allowing up to 16 people to work out at one time on the machines, with space for other people to work out away from the weights.
“You can get quite a few people in there working at one time,” said Chris Nanney, college athletic director.
The new facility is a vast upgrade from the college’s previous offerings, which consisted of some cardio machines and some light workout equipment in the lower level of the college, used by school gym programs.
Nanney said the new facilities are a key component of recruiting athletes to the college.
“When we have athletes on campus, we bring them to the fitness center and it’s not just the weight equipment,” he said. “We’ve done the walls. We’ve got photos of athletes on there. It’s been painted in our blue and highlighter green. It really pops and stands out so that when you go in there, you see not just a weight room but an entire branded facility that promotes the athletic program.”
Most of the work in building the new space was done by college maintenance staff, who demolished the old office space, made repairs to the ceiling and repainted the weight room.
Jason Hurst, college president, said the new fitness center has opened multiple opportunities for the college.
“In bringing college athletics to campus, we needed a place for our student athletes to work out and also our law enforcement academy and fire academy students were having to work out and do PT off campus. We really needed a place for students in those programs to have places to work out as well. It was a no-brainer for us to put this together,” he said.
The new space will also find use in a new health and fitness associates degree program, created to appeal to student athletes entering the junior college system.
“We were desperately wanting to do a wellness program for our employees, and our employees now have access to the fitness center. I think ultimately athletics drove us to putting this together, but there are so many programs that will benefit from this,” Hurst said.
Dustin George can be reached at 704-669-3337 or [email protected].