Recreation Center to receive 31 new exercise machines

By Gus Bode

Some exercise equipment is over 13 years old

Students will soon be able to jog, climb stairs and work their deltoids on brand new treadmills, stair climbers and other exercise machines at the Recreation Center.

The Recreation Center is in the process of purchasing 31 new machines to replace older machines throughout the facilities, some of which are 13 years old. The new machines are expected to be in by late September or early October.

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“It is always exciting to purchase new machines,” said Bill McMinn, director of the Recreation Center. “We are the caretakers of the facilities, and we want to make sure we do everything we can to meet the needs of the students.”

The total cost of the project is estimated to be around $78,000, pending approval, and will be spent from the Recreation Center budget that has set aside money to purchase new equipment.

Purchasing orders are still in the process of being approved for 25 of the machines. The machines that have been purchased include two Magnum cable crossover machines, a Star Trac thruster machine, a Nautilus Freedom machine, a Nautilus abdominal machine and a Magnum rear deltoid machine.

The Recreation Center is also expecting to purchase six treadmills, six elipticles, six stair climbers, six electronic bikes and one decline free-weights bench.

Brian Lukes, the assistant director in charge of facilities at the Recreation Center, has spent 25 years in charge of purchasing new equipment for the facilities. He attends conferences and reads information about new state of the art equipment to keep the SIU facilities up-to-date with the new technology.

“If you were to buy a treadmill at Sears, it wouldn’t last a week here,” Lukes said.

He has spent the last several months sifting through information on equipment as well as bid information for the new machines.

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“I’m the watchdog for student funds,” Lukes said. “We want to make sure the students are getting quality equipment that lasts.”

McMinn said purchasing new equipment for the facilities is always an ongoing process. Each year, money is set aside in the budget to replace old and out-of date equipment.

“I think that the expectation level of the people we serve is always going to be high,” McMinn said. “They set the bar high and we set the bar high.”

Vendors allowed the Recreation Center to borrow different machines for one month last summer so students and community members could give input on what machines they wanted for the Recreation Center.

The student recreation staff also tested the equipment and brought in mechanics to ensure quality of the machines.

“We’ve always had the reputation for being one of the top programs in the country and we’re going to stay there,” McMinn said.

Reporter Kristina Dailing can be reached [email protected]

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