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UMC new Wellness Center opens this school year for students

CROOKSTON--In the past, options for students looking for a workout on the University of Minnesota-Crookston campus were limited. They had to use the athletics facility, meaning students didn't have access to some fitness necessities such as the l...

Patrick Troumbley, Director of the Wellness Center at University of Minnesota Crookston stands in the entry of the new wellness center on campus Tuesday afternoon. Jesse Trelstad/ Grand Forks Herald
Patrick Troumbley, Director of the Wellness Center at University of Minnesota Crookston stands in the entry of the new wellness center on campus Tuesday afternoon. Jesse Trelstad/ Grand Forks Herald

CROOKSTON-In the past, options for students looking for a workout on the University of Minnesota-Crookston campus were limited.

They had to use the athletics facility, meaning students didn't have access to some fitness necessities such as the locker rooms, and the school's few intramural sports team couldn't start activities until late in the evening.

But when UMC students return to campus for class Tuesday, a new $15 million wellness center awaits them.

"With this building we're starting not quite from scratch, but pretty close," said Patrick Troumbley, the director of the new wellness center.

Completed in June 2016, the 36,000-square-foot Wellness Center provides UMC students with high-end equipment and some of the latest technologies in the industry.

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The building features a two-court gymnasium that will allow users to play sports ranging from basketball, badminton, volleyball, tennis and indoor soccer, along with a second-floor running and walking track; general locker rooms; a multipurpose room for group exercise; areas for weightlifting, fitness and cardio workouts; and a classroom.

The classroom, which is centered on UMC's exercise science and wellness major, includes exercise physiology equipment where students will get experience using various types machines that can provide a full spectrum of health and fitness analyses, as well as hydration levels and muscle/fat composition.

"This equipment in this room would typically be available only to graduate students at other universities," Troumbley said. "So we feel very fortunate to have it here."

The cardio and weight machines, primarily Life Fitness and Woodway brands, feature scanning codes that allow smartphones to use apps for fitness tracking and circuit training. Students can also download and track their cardiovascular workouts.

New technology, such as the scanning codes, are used throughout the building in order for the building to be as energy-efficient as possible and provide students with the best workout they can, Troumbley said.

Some of those technology features include, a fitness-on-demand video kiosk with an initial database of more than 125 pre-recorded exercise routines, LED lighting that is motion- and daylight-controlled, bird-safe glass, solar panels on the roof that produce up to 10 percent of the building's electricity consumption and workout machines that are partially powered by a person using them.

"The quality you're getting here is better than just about anywhere else, without question," Troumbley said.

Having a dedicated space to student wellness also allows the university to add more intramural sports, something that was difficult to do before the building.

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Rob Silvers, the assistant director of the Wellness Center, said he wants to get a wide range of activities in the building, including club sports, team sports and more inclusive recreational activities, such as a wheelchair basketball team.

"We want to give people as many opportunities as possible," Silvers said. "This will allow students to expand their social life and this will add to the overall community as well."

Funding for the building was approved in the 2014 Minnesota Legislative Bonding Bill, which included a $10 million allocation for the Wellness Center. An additional $5 million was raised for the project through philanthropic efforts and university funding sources.

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