The new King’s weight room: raised to greater heights

The new gym is brighter, cleaner and more inviting. (Photo: Celina Ip)

The University of King’s College’s weight room has been given a complete makeover. It is safe, clean, user-friendly and inclusive.

It now houses newer, safer and cleaner equipment that is appealing to both men and women. There are new weight machines and equipment and fixtures not available in the old weight room, including mats, fitness balls, medicine balls, a water fountain and sanitizing stations. With a smart-card panel, the room is also more secure.

An anonymous donation covered all of these changes.

Adriane Abbott, the advancement director at King’s, says the donor was a woman and a King’s alumnus who graduated several years ago. She was active in basketball and many other varsity sports on campus.

Alex Doyle, the director of facilities, came up with the idea of moving the weight room from the basement to its new space overlooking the gym.

“I wanted it to be a user-friendly space that was more inclusive to women on campus. I find safety is most important so I opened up the room to the gym with the new windows that have been put in place so it’s more visible and safe.”

The vacated basement space will be renovated and used as a classroom.

Trish Miles, the athletics coordinator at King’s, was in charge of planning focus groups that were used to understand what should be incorporated into the weight room to make it inclusive.

The old, dismal weight room was located in the basement of the athletics centre. (Photo: Celina Ip)

“We talked to about 10 to 15 people overall. We took them into the old weight room and talked about the pre-existing equipment: what they liked, what was missing, what didn’t work for them and what they would like to see in the new one,” said Trish.

James Shields, a fifth-year student at King’s studying contemporary studies and international development, is pleased with the weight room’s new location.

“I did use the old weight room on occasion but I didn’t like it. I didn’t like how cramped I felt down there and it felt dirty. It’s now brighter and more cheerful and a more pleasant place.”

The room opened in September, and Miles says the number of people using the gym has increased.