Gym renovations still on schedule

First floor construction in the Wellness Center is still underway. Daniel Osiason//The Miami Hurricane

The long-awaited upgrades for the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center will be unveiled before spring 2011, but until then, guests are being affected by the gym’s construction.

Starting this November until February 2011, people can expect to enter the Wellness Center through Center Court while the floor of the main entrance is being redone. This temporary entrance is located past the main entrance, down the walkway and along the canal, closer to the Hecht/Stanford dining hall.

Completion of the Wellness Center renovation is currently slated for Feb. 15. Officials will evaluate progress Dec. 15 to determine if an extension is necessary, setting March 3 as the latest date construction will end.

“Expansion [of the Wellness Center] will help alleviate congestion in the areas that are extremely crowded,” said Norm Parsons, director of the Wellness Center.

Plans to refurbish the Wellness Center were implemented to accommodate the needs of the increasing student population. They were arranged by the same contractor who managed the construction of the new Robert and Judi Prokop Newman Alumni Center.

According to Parsons, there have not been any major setbacks throughout the process, partly due to the lack of destructive storms. Parsons’ current focus is on coordinating the production so that the new equipment arrives in time for installation.

“It is like building a Lego house. Everything has to fall into place,” he said.

Students seem to have adjusted to the conditions of the construction, exercising at the facility just like they would at any other gym.

“I’m a freshman, so I don’t know any different,” Emily Krone said.

The changes during renovation have mildly disrupted the routines of some gym attendees.

“I’ve heard complaints from the older patrons and alumni about the noise and finding where everything was moved,” said senior Lauren Anderson, a fitness leader at the Wellness Center.

The majority of members, however, understand that the results will be worth the inconveniences of the construction period.

A significant reform of the Wellness Center involves converting the courtyard into 7,000 square feet of added space for the cardiovascular area, with an additional 50 pieces of new equipment.

Upcoming features on the second floor include a Pilates studio with six reformer machines, two multi-purpose rooms and a new studio cycling room, complete with a video wall simulating outdoor cycling trips in the Alps.

Parsons eagerly anticipates the moment people will first walk into the revamped Wellness Center.

“I can’t wait to see people’s faces. It will be a visually ‘wow’ experience,” Parsons said.

Caitlin Good may be contacted at

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To view pictures and videos of the construction process, visit