Renovations Improve Health Enhancement Center’s Safety

MyKayla Hilgart

mhilg143@uwsp.edu

Recent modifications and renovations in the Health Enhancement Center have made the high-traffic area a safer place to be active on campus.

To increase safety and deter theft from the cubbies outside the Strength Fitness Center in the HEC, a new video surveillance camera was installed last spring.

“I use the Strength Center about five times a week and regularly leave my backpack in the cubbies and my coat hanging on the rack outside. I had a pair of sweatpants and an iPod stolen while I was working out three years ago,” said Eli Towle, a senior mathematics and German major.

“It is nice to know that the camera is looking out for me, not unlike a mechanical angel. Regardless, the best solution is to be mindful of what you really need to bring to the gym,” Towle said.

Photo by Emily Hoffmann. A new security camera has been installed outside of the Strength Center.

Photo by Emily Hoffmann.
A new security camera has been installed outside of the Strength Center.

While the surveillance camera may make leaving belongings in the cubbies less worrisome, there are still safer options to take further precautions.

“Students may feel more comfortable using the cubbies. However, the HEC is not responsible for lost or stolen items, and cameras are not guaranteed to reduce theft. It is highly recommended that students use the lockers in the general locker rooms which are provided free of charge,” said David Foemmel, the Health Enhancement Facility director.

Before the fall semester even began, the main hallway between the Multi Activity Center and the Quandt Gym had been redone in preparation for the new academic year.

Winter break allowed time to address a minor asbestos issue in another hallway. The flooring adjacent to the Quandt Gym on the east side was torn up and redone.

“In the whole corridor there was actually only about a half a percent of asbestos found,” said project manager Travis Olson.

According to Olson, there had been a flooring project that cleared away most of the asbestos about 20 years ago, but traces in the corners had proven to be difficult to remove. However, with today’s advancements in technology, the crew was able do away with the remaining traces and leave the hallway asbestos-free.

“I walk through the hallway just about every day here on campus,” said Robert Sobieck, a junior elementary and special education major.

“Just to know that UWSP is committed to the safety of its students and took the necessary steps to remove the problem and renovate what is really a very prominent and busy hallway, I think speaks highly for the character of the university,” Sobiek said.

According to Olson, there are even more changes set to take place in the HEC in the coming weeks.

The corridor in front of the men’s and women’s locker rooms near the Quandt is going to be repainted. In addition, construction of a new classroom south of the swimming pool will begin on Feb. 10. The classroom will likely be used for first aid and lifeguarding classes.

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