Rec Center undergoing weight room renovation project, repurposing racquetball courts

<p>As of March 19, 2020, Ball State announced it will be closing all its recreational and sports facilities until further notice.&nbsp;The announcement was made after the joint disaster emergency declaration&nbsp;by Delaware County and the City of Muncie. <strong>Samantha Brammer, DN File</strong></p>

As of March 19, 2020, Ball State announced it will be closing all its recreational and sports facilities until further notice. The announcement was made after the joint disaster emergency declaration by Delaware County and the City of Muncie. Samantha Brammer, DN File

The Jo Ann Gora Student Recreation and Wellness Center is getting some upgrades this summer.

After a high demand for services, the center decided to begin the weight room renovation project.

“The weight room renovation project is our primary focus for the fitness center,” said Matt Miller, coordinator of fitness and wellness programs.

As part of the project, the center is replacing and upgrading several pieces of equipment.

Being removed:

  • 10 Paramount three-way bench presses
  • Three Hammer Strength half-racks
  • One 6x8 Olympic platform
  • One 3x8 deadlift platform
  • One iso-lateral plate loaded bench press
  • One iso-lateral plate loaded low pull
  • One plate loaded grip machine

Upgraded:

  • 10 new Hammer Strength Elite half-racks each with an attached 4x8 platform
  • Two new 6x8 Olympic platforms
  • 17 new Rogue barbells
  • 4,000 lbs of new Rogue bumper and change plates
  • Rogue jerk blocks
  • Seven pairs of Rogue kettlebell's
  • One Rogue Z Hyper
  • One Rogue oblique hyper

In addition to the weight room renovation project, Miller said the center is working towards re-purposing four of the existing nine racquetball courts to create a new functional fitness space.

Though the goal for repurposing the courts is to serve more people, not everyone is happy with the upcoming change.

Ross Meenagh, legal studies graduate and former president of the Racquetball Club, said he feels this group of athletes is being left out.

“They seem to have just given up on racquetball,” Meenagh said. “They don't think anyone will ever want to play. Our club already has to compete with wallyball players for courts as it is and I'm just very concerned about their ability to function after the project is complete. Past just my club's interests, I think the whole campus would be better off with more courts.”

In an effort to save the four racquetball courts, Meenagh started an online petition asking for the center to not replace the courts.

The petition was started before the end of the school year and currently has 65 signatures out of a goal of 100.

“Opportunities are being taken from the students,” Meenagh said. “Maybe instead of removing the courts, they could promote the courts.”

Now with official plans in place to repurpose the courts, Meenagh is doubtful that there is enough support for the petition to get anybody’s attention. He still thinks that students who use the Recreational Center should care, however.

“People who use the Recreational Center all want the same thing – to be fit,” Meenagh said. “Everyone does this in their own way. Most people don't do it by playing racquetball and as a result, those of us who do have no voice. Our opinions don't matter. People who use the Rec Center should care because what they like to do could be next.”

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