Faculty, staff and students at Martin Methodist College are getting physically fit as a result of a new state-of-the-art cardio room, and member of the Giles County Chamber of Commerce were invited to join them during a formal ribbon-cutting on Wednesday morning, Jan. 11.
The event was part of the monthly Chamber Coffee, which for January was hosted by MMC.
The cardio room, located on the balcony level of the Curry Christian Life Center overlooking the RedHawk basketball court, features 22 exercise fitness machines (four rowing machines, two stationary bicycles, two incumbent bicycles, four elliptical machines, and six treadmills). Each machine comes with its own television screen and computerized workout programs.
Total value of the fitness equipment is about $80,000, but Director of Athletics Jeff Bain pointed out that the college is leasing the machines from Exercise Essentials in Knoxville, Tenn., which will provide maintenance and periodic upgrades, meaning that the cardio room will always be state-of-the-art.
President Ted Brown held the ceremonial scissors at the grand opening of the cardio room. Joining him were representatives from various companies and vendors, as well as the college’s own maintenance and athletics departments, all of whom had key roles in the $200,000 project.
"Our maintenance crew was hugely involved," Bain said. "They did a lot of the grunt work to fill in the gaps – places where the project manager would tell us that we could save a lot of money if we did certain subcontracting work ourselves."
He also recognized the contributions of: Brindley Construction, which served as project manager; Eddie Gibson of Gibson Glass; Monte Cardin of C&C Printing; Joey Hamby, who did the cabinet work; Wes Kelley of Pulaski Electric System; and Exercise Essentials.
Bain gave special recognition to Jerry Smith of Alley-Cassetty Companies of Nashville, who donated all the block, mortar and ribar for the project, a gift valued at $5,000. A plaque acknowledging Smith’s generosity hangs in the cardio room.
The history of this project, Bain said, really goes back 20 years, when the fitness machines in the Curry Christian Life Center – which had been the industry standard at the time they were purchased – began to show their age and obsolesence. The college began to replace that equipment with Olympic free weights.
"The free weights were terrific," Bain said, "and still serve their purpose extremely well, but we soon realized we really needed cardio equipment. This project really began to take shape, though, when Simone Coleman served as president of the Student Government Association during the 2009-10 academic year. She came to me and asked what projects SGA could assist with, and I told her we really needed a cardio facility, so she did a lot of work behind the scenes – surveying students, getting their opinions and confirming that they would really use it."
The cardio room was completed in October, and the students quickly made good on their word.
"We started getting people in the gymnasium who had never been here before," Bain said. "Now there always seems to be a group of students in the cardio room."
Also quick to begin using the new equipment were members of the Martin Methodist Health Club. In fact, with the grand opening, the college is offering a special six-month discounted family membership. The cardio room joins the 25-meter heated indoor pool, the polyurethane indoor walking track, the racquetball courts, the free weight room, and the basketball courts in the Health Club offerings.
The Martin Methodist Health Club is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday.
For more information about the Health Club and its special membership offer, call 931-424-7374.
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