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New windows, equipment for Ohio State gym-goers

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The bouldering wall that stood in JO South, pictured here in November, was torn down to make room for new cardio machines, lockers and a window over winter break. Credit: Mark Batke / For The Lantern

The bouldering wall that stood in JO South, pictured here in November, was torn down to make room for new cardio machines, lockers and a window over winter break.
Credit: Mark Batke / For The Lantern

Gym-goers heading to Jesse Owens South will now have access to more cardio equipment in the sunlight because of renovations made over winter break.

Changes include 15 new glass panel windows installed in the front of the building facing 11th Avenue and 15 new cardio machines.

Dave DeAngelo, senior associate director of facilities for Recreational Sports, said there was a need for cardio machines accessible by standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“All the cardio equipment before was on the stage (risers in the gym) and not ADA accessible. We just needed some additional capacity,” DeAngelo said.

The ADA prohibits discrimination of the disabled by requiring equal opportunities to be provided for those with disabilities.

The new equipment is self-powered due to limits on the building’s electrical capacity, DeAngelo said.

“There’s no electric outlets (in the renovated area), and not a lot of capacity left coming into this building. There’s still a lot of electric in the cardio stage area. Stuff we add going forward will be stuff that doesn’t need (electric) power,” DeAngelo said.

Power source was not the only consideration in the new equipment.

“We choose equipment in many different ways … we’re pretty exhaustive. We look at all the manufacturers and what we think the most popular pieces are,” DeAngelo said.

A bouldering wall was removed to make more space for the windows as well as for 48 new lockers, DeAngelo said.

“The windows make a tremendous improvement with the feel of the facility,” DeAngelo said. “We’ve been wanting to do that for a long time.”

The equipment additions cost about $47,200, the window installation around $38,000 and lockers $1,250 for a project total of about $86,500. Funding was provided by money set aside each year in the overall budget for facility improvement projects, DeAngelo said.

The renovations were completed on time and faced no setbacks.

Lindsay Krammes, a second-year in biology, said she is happy with the new source of light from the windows.

“When you’re working out here, it’s nice to have natural lighting. Now I don’t feel like I’m underground,” Krammes said.

Increased visibility of the inside of the gym was also a reason for installation of the windows.

“We liked the idea of people walking down 11th (Avenue) and seeing activity going on … We want people to say, ‘Hey, that looks really cool, I want to check it out,’” DeAngelo said.

The South Campus recreational facility currently averages about 1,500 guests per day, a number that has stayed consistent over the years, DeAngelo said.

Kyle Simokovich, a third-year in business, said the windows are an aesthetic improvement.

“It looks way more inviting. It’s great to see that there’s actually money being put toward something that makes the campus look better,” Simokovich said.

Some students said they are pleased with the new use of space inside.

Kevin Phillips, a fourth-year in animal sciences, said out of the six to seven days per week he goes to Jesse Owens South, he had only usually seen about four people on the bouldering wall each week.

“I think it’s great that they utilized the rock climbing area to put in cardio machines … Now there’s less of a wait for cardio (machines),” Phillips said.

Krammes said she is satisfied to see more cardio equipment as well.

“I like how they found a way to get more machines in the same amount of space,” Krammes said.

DeAngelo said any future renovations on the gym’s North Campus counterpart, Jesse Owens North, will depend on the new recreational facility set to open on North Campus after all of the current construction is complete.

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