Students Unpleased With New Fitness Center Hours


Miguel Dandan

The newly renovated Carlson Fitness Center.

As a result of underspending last school year, the Carlson Fitness Center was able to get a renovation. Costing at about $23,000, the center received a flooring upgrade and a paint job.

The fitness center also received a new update that many students are dissatisfied with – its hours.

Unlike last year, the center is now closed from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and is also closed on Sundays and holidays. The new schedule has resulted in an always-packed gym ending up with many patrons waiting on the sidelines for an available machine or space.

Special Assistant to the Director of Athletics Shawn Sueoka explained that the changes were based on suggestions from a fitness expert and usage data from last school year.

“We had a lot of people using the center in the morning hours,” Sueoka said. “As we got through the middle of the day, there was less and less use.”

He said that on weekends and holidays, the center saw less people.

“On Sundays, we would get around five people or so throughout the whole day,” Sueoka said.

But CUH senior and fitness blogger Lyka Raza said that the new hours are problematic for on-campus residents.

“The commuter students can go to other places,” Raza said. “Students who live on-campus, however, only have the fitness center to go to, and with the new hours, they may have trouble finding the time to work out.”

Juniors Kayla Maher and Natalie Burton also agree that that the new hours are inconvenient.

According to Burton, she is pleased that the school renovated the center but hopes to see more improvements.

“I had emailed the fitness center manager about acquiring a new bike seat for the stationary bike, but I have yet to receive a response,” Burton said of an email she sent a few weeks ago. “It’s only $8 at Walmart. … Can’t Chaminade purchase one?”

In Maher’s case, the issue is that there is limited equipment to use, especially after the removal of certain back and chest machines.

“I am usually waiting around for a machine, and sometimes I end up not completing my workout,” Maher said. “I hope that they could revert back to the old hours.” 

She is a regular patron of the center, and usually goes on weekdays during the late afternoon.

Dean of Students Allison Jerome said that there would still be the issue of an overcrowded gym even if the hours were expanded.

“Students, faculty, and alum – as well as the online students – are all able to use the [fitness center],” Jerome said. “Even if we had longer hours, the facility could not accommodate everyone.”

As for the machines, those that were removed were duplicates.

“According to the expert we hired, the machines we took out were not necessary and only took up more space,” Sueoka said. “With the duplicates taken out, it is now more spacious.”

Kiana Wright, a senior who has been working at the center for almost two years, is content with the hours and the redesign.

“There’s more space for people to do ab work,” Wright said. “The hours are pretty good. … No one really comes here on the weekends.”

Other issues and delays

The opening of the fitness center was also delayed this school year, as a result of logistical issues.

According to Jerome, the flooring was special ordered from the mainland in May and took six weeks to arrive.

“We didn’t want to close the gym in the middle of the semester when students are already stressed out,” Jerome said. “It was best that we delayed the opening in order to finish all the renovations so students wouldn’t have a wide gap in between.”

With the issue of waiting, Jerome said that the center will put up signs at the gym letting patrons know to limit the use of the machine to no more than 30 minutes.

Bill Villa, who is the Director of Athletics, is also looking into the issue of the sports teams in the fitness center during peak hours. The Athletics Department is looking to having teams train in the fitness center when it is closed, in order to alleviate congestion. 

Looking ahead

The renovation done at the center is just the first step, according to Jerome. Chaminade Athletics and the Dean of Students are looking to work with the student government association in improving the fitness center.

“We are looking at getting more student input in regards to the facility,” Jerome said.

In addition, Sueoka said that the Athletics Department is looking to hire maintenance personnel for the center.

“We want a maintenance guy who can come in and fix the machines all year long,” Sueoka said.

The Athletics Department is also looking at new equipment to purchase.

“Our strength and conditioning coach is looking at what other equipment we need to help benefit the students and faculty,” Villa said.