Students who work out at Jesse Owens North will soon have new, exclusive equipment to exercise with, and club and intramural teams will have special access to the gym for training and practices outside of daytime hours.
There are going to be two major parts to the changes being made to JON. First, new equipment is going to be added this semester. Second, the basketball courts in the back of the gym will be renovated, potentially into indoor roller hockey courts.
David DeAngelo, senior associate director of facilities at OSU recreational sports, is working on plans to add functional training equipment pieces while moving out equipment that will be relocated to regional campuses.
“There’s going to be jungle-gym-type pieces and other things that we’re really excited about, stuff that we don’t have anywhere else on campus,” he said.
DeAngelo also said there will be new treadmills and resistance training equipment, which will be delivered to campus by Oct. 1 and made available in JON shortly after.
The gym also will be available to sports teams who want to reserve the space for practices and workouts before opening hours and after closing hours.
“We really want to create a home for our sport clubs and for some of the folks who don’t get a lot of space, so that’ll be one thing they can do at JO North that they can’t do anywhere else,” he said. “Our rugby club, for instance, will be able to block a time to work out together as a team.”
Although JON will be holding special hours for sports teams, it will remain fully open during the day to the entire student population.
Nathan Grose, president of the Rugby Club, said these accommodations could help teams better organize their team workouts.
“If we’re able to actually have a reserved spot to hold an organized workout, that really helps us be more productive and it holds guys accountable because then we can actually see who’s in there working out,” he said.
While Grose said he’s excited about this opportunity, he is concerned that the early or late hours might not be optimal for most teams.
“In order for JO North to be successful with the rugby team and other sport clubs, they are going to need to provide reasonable accommodations,” he said. “For example, 6 a.m. or midnight workouts will be a tough sell for teams.”
For the second part of the changes to JON, DeAngelo originally hoped to have an indoor roller hockey court installed. However, logistical concerns need to be worked through before the project is implemented.
“There are some things we didn’t anticipate in terms of having to go down and put some footers and some foundations in,” he said. “Our roller hockey club doesn’t think that’ll be big enough for them to practice on so we’re not sure what’s going to happen back there.”
Whatever the changes end up being, DeAngelo said they will be completed in the winter and ready for students when they return to classes in the spring.
The new equipment and training hours for teams are developments that will only be at JON, and DeAngelo said he hopes that students will enjoy these changes and be able to take advantage of them.
“We just hope the students on North Campus are enjoying the North Rec Center,” he said. “Don’t forget about Jesse Owens North, and stay tuned for those changes because we’re real excited about everything that’s going on.”