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New Fitness Center Fee Future Uncertain

September 29, 2010 by admin

Thomas A.L. Martino Photo Chris Sullivano, a 19-year old business major from Howell, works out in the fitness center Sept. 28.

By Katherine Kim
As Brookdale welcomes students to yet another academic year, it also opens a brand-new fitness center.
As written in the membership package, the mission of the fitness center : “Is to provide a safe and friendly workout enviroment, supported by professional services that promote life long health and wellness.”
But for many students, the issue is the center’s cost. Currently, fees, ranging from $10 a day to $200 a year, are required for anyone who enters the fitness center.
Many students have expressed surprise that membership to the fitness center is not free for all students.
The new center is a great improvement from the original.
“The original fitness center was supposed to be a temporary ‘swing space’ until either a new facility was established or a remodeling was done. Unfortunately we stayed there for about 10 years;” according to Fitness Center Supervisor Joyce Cosentino, “This is a great improvement. It’s clean, and it provides more space for more activities for our members and students.”
Students and faculty must pay a membership fee for use of the center.
Students taking fitness courses cover their membership fee through their tuition and may enter at any time during hours of operation using their “keycards” to sign in, according to Cosentino.
“Compared to other gyms, this is cheaper,” theater arts major Alexis Gorensten, 18, from Malboro said.
But why should students pay a membership fee?
“The fees contribute towards the school debt,” Consentino said .
Made to “provide ample space and opportunities for students,” the fitness complex, according to Director of Athletics Frank Lawrence, cost a total of $22.8 million to build.
The fitness complex includes the fitness and recreational centers, and the Collins Arena, which is currently being remodeled.
The school funded the $22.8 Million project through three sources; reserved revenue funds, the Chapter 12 Capital State Fund Program, and government county bonds, Consentino and Lawrence said.
Director of Accounting Elise Barocas confirmed.
“We took a bond for $27.8 million, but only part of that was used on the fitness centers and arena,” Barocas said , “We used it for what we call the Big Four.”
For any student wanting to know, The Big Four construction covers various renovations on Brookdale campuses, namely the Lincroft and Western Monmouth campus.The renovations include work on the ATEC buildings, the Collins Arena and the fitness/ recreational centers.
All revenue related activities in the fitness and recreational centers contribute to the debt services,” Lawrence said.
But, will the fees go down? Or will they go up?
Director Lawrence thinks that, “It’s a higher possibility that the fees will go up as further development occurs.”
But not everyone tagree.
Cosentino hopes that “when we get an good increase in enrollment and in class activities that the fees will go down.”
The use of the recreational area for events would also be a big contribution if used on a regular basis for various events, including sports and conventions.
Education major Gary Papa, 18, of Middletown said, “Compared to the old building, the cost is worth it. But I’d be happier if it were cheaper.”
Despite the discounts some students are unsatisfied with the new facility, even when impressed. “I still think it should be free for students,” Business major Chris Cruz, 18, of Malboro said. Port Monmouth native Business major Andrew Barry, 18, agrees;
“ It is nice and convenient, but I think it’s too expensive.”
At this time, the only certain answer for the future is uncertainty.

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