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New name for a new rec center

Photo: Joey Gale

Construction workers entered Olmsted Center in September with tools in hand and a plan in mind, ready to build Drake University’s newest recreational facility. That facility is almost finished. There is one missing piece of equipment, however: a name.

That’s where Drake students can play a pivotal role, said Mike Cigelman, associate director of athletics for facilities and director of recreational services.  The student-generated idea deserves a student-generated name, Cigelman said.

“We’d like to have as many students involved as possible,” he said. “The primary reason we’re building the facility is because students have expressed a need for more fitness and weight facilities. We’ve not been able to meet the needs of the student population.”

Just over a month away from the Jan. 17, 2012, grand opening, the recreational services department is asking for students’ input via a naming contest for the new facility.

To enter the contest, students must email Lisa Murphy, assistant director of recreational services, their names by Thursday at 5 p.m.  Her email address is lisa.murphy@drake.edu.

Beyond the opportunity to name campus’ newest attraction, students can look forward to numerous perks when the facility opens on the first day of the upcoming spring semester. Besides the convenient location, the facility will soon offer newfangled fitness equipment.

Instead of several students watching a single monitor, “all of the cardio machines will have a TV monitor right on them,” Cigelman said.

With nine treadmills, nine ellipticals, bikes, stair climbers, rowing machines, free weights and power racks already ordered, the Drake recreational services staff hopes that a clever name is the finishing touch.

“We plan to have a grand opening probably that first day, and we’ll have a big unveiling of the name of the facility,” Cigelman said.  “Hopefully, we’ll have the winner there.”

Construction is progressing as planned, and the facility will open for the first time at 6:30 a.m. on Jan. 17 for students who are eager to wake up early and try the new equipment.

The facility will be open from 6:30-11 p.m. from Monday through Friday.  On Saturday, it will be open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., and on Sunday it will be available from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Ultimately, the new facility is by and for the students, Cigelman said.

“This is a facility that came about because students wanted it,” Cigelman said.  “It’s a facility that’s going to be for students, and we’re hoping even after it’s opened that we can get student input to modify the facility according to the needs of the student population.”

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