A new look and increased space for the IMA has given students a new reason to take the trip to the east-campus facility.
The IMA, located north of Husky Stadium, opened in September and houses new indoor and outdoor facilities.
Data comparing the first four months of the school year to those months last year shows student usage has gone up 23.2 percent and faculty use has risen 7.8 percent.
The project cost $42.3 million, renovated 40,000 square feet and added 95,000 square feet.
Major additions such as a climbing wall, an expanded cardio fitness center, sports fields (one synthetic turf and night lighted) have given students an added incentive to broaden their fitness horizons.
John Pariseau, director of recreational sports at the IMA, agrees that the money put toward the advancement of the facility was well worth the cost.
"The cardio, free weights, single-station machines have all seen an increase in use," he said.
Cindee McBride, office assistant lead at the IMA for six years, said the new look was way past due. "We needed to move with the growing number of students," she said. "It was a good time to expand."
The IMA holds more than 50 fitness and sports classes in which students and faculty may participate.
"Our effort is always to stay current. We have done that over time and will do that in a routine basis," said Pariseau.
"We see a lot more bodies coming in and out," said Veleda Vann, sports equipment manager for more than 30 years. "The whole facility has seen more movement."
Student views are similar to those of the IMA administration. "The atmosphere is nicer; you don't have to wait for equipment," said graduate student Emily Toth.
New additions such as TVs are a great help in sophomore Joel Gross' workout.
"I like being able to zone out to [the TVs]," he said.
Pariseau praised the students and faculty for their involvement in fitness.
"In general the campus and staff are interested in their health," he said.
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