Samantha B. Bonar

Occidental's new seven-days-a-week Alumni Gymnasium Fitness Center is now open for use by students, faculty, staff, and alumni, featuring a full range of workout equipment.


It is located in the former indoor basketball court space next to the Dance Studio.

"It's a complete, total-body fitness center," said Athletics Director Jaime Hoffman, who first proposed the center to Occidental President Jonathan Veitch in September. The facility has eight treadmills, six elliptical machines, upright bikes, recumbent bikes, a full circuit of strength equipment, platforms for benches, dumb bells and free weights. "There's even an abs section," Hoffman said.

Veitch was enthusiastic about the idea, which was approved by the College's board of trustees in October. After that, it was up to Facilities and Athletics staff to order exercise equipment and coordinate the makeover of the space, which also features day lockers and four flat-screen TVs. All of the cardio equipment is being leased so it can be upgraded every three years, and the machines are top-of-the-line Life Fitness brand, Hoffman said.

"We've been doing an athletic facility study for about 18 months," Hoffman said, explaining why Athletics wanted to open the center. "What became obvious to us was that we weren't affording our students the same opportunities that like institutions were providing their students" in terms of fitness facilities. "We also felt that this would bridge the campus community in a unique way-faculty, staff, alumni, and the student body," she said, crediting Liz Bilbrew in Facilities and Sae Woon Jo, manager of athletic facilities, with coordinating the project.

"Liz worked with our contractors, vendors, and internal constituents to pull this all together in a really tight time frame," Hoffman said, also saying Jo "has been phenomenal at managing this, serving as our liaison with the Facilities department."

To accommodate displaced basketball players, Athletics has opened the outside basketball court. Student dribblers can also use the Rush Gym court when the varsity team isn't practicing, Hoffman said.

"Walking in an hour after we opened its doors and seeing the flood of students coming in, it just made the past five months and figuring this all out entirely worth it," she said.

Regular fitness center hours will be:

Monday-Thursday 6:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Friday 6:30 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sunday 12 noon - 8 p.m.

You must show your Oxy ID to enter. As is the case with any fitness center, please bring a towel to wipe down equipment after use. Campus safety officers will staff the facility's entrance.