Ping Center intern Andrew Gatos, Ping Center manager Matt Keller and Ping Center graduate assistant Trevor Dunlap help representatives from the Meigs Local School District load weight equipment.
Photographer: Larrissa Keiser
Several staff members from the Ping Center help representatives from Federal Hocking Local Schools load weight equipment onto a trailer.
Photographer: Larrissa Keiser
This image provides an overhead view of what the new weight space being installed at the Ping Center will look like.
Graphic courtesy of: Star Trac
Jul 17, 2014
By Angela Woodward
Visitors to the weight facility at Ohio University’s Ping Recreation Center in recent weeks have likely noticed that equipment there seems to be disappearing. Weight room users have no fear: The old equipment is finding new homes at school districts throughout the area in order to make way for an expanded weight facility and new equipment at the Ping Center.
Earlier this year, staff at Campus Recreation announced renovations that would occur over the summer at the Charles J. Ping Recreation Center that will more than double the square footage of weight space currently available while also creating open space to support functional fitness activities. Renovation plans include connecting the Ping Center’s existing weight room to the center’s current first-floor lounge and converting that lounge space to a new state-of-the-art weight space that will house all new equipment. More than 300 pieces of weight equipment, including a 14-station cable crossover system, are being purchased for the new space, which will feature new flooring, lighting and mirrors.
Construction on the new weight space will begin in earnest this week (see sidebar). According to Tasha Westfall, senior assistant director of the Ping Center, all of the facility’s weight equipment must be removed from the center by July 23 to facilitate the installation of new flooring.
“In order for them to lay the flooring, the space has to be 100 percent empty,” Westfall said.
But what happens to all of the older weight equipment that is being replaced?
Westfall explained that that equipment was slated to be sent to Ohio University Moving and Surplus, the department tasked with administering the disposition of surplus University property in compliance with applicable laws. In this particular case, Moving and Surplus contacted Rick Edwards, superintendent of the Athens-Meigs Educational Service Center, to see if area school officials might be interested in acquiring the old weight equipment.
“I have worked with staff from Moving and Surplus for several years, acquiring items for our agency as well as the schools we work with in the area/region,” Edwards said. “We routinely are able to pick up desks that are wheelchair accessible, which are of great benefit to a student’s needs in the classroom. Regularly, we able to pick up technology equipment that can be refurbished and put into place at our sites or in our districts. We have a great working relationship with Ohio University and appreciate the partnerships that we have developed over the years.”
Staci White, general manager of Ohio University Moving and Surplus, was proud that her department had the opportunity to contribute back to the Athens area.
“Our team is happy to assist both OHIO’s campus and the local community whenever possible,” White said. “It’s part of our commitment to providing excellent customer service.”
Edwards personally contacted some of the area schools that he knew were in need of weight equipment and also sent information to each of the Educational Service Center’s district superintendents and principals.
“The response was great,” he said.
Six school districts in Athens, Meigs and Washington Counties took advantage of the opportunity, purchasing the old equipment for a flat rate of $50 per item.
According to Westfall, all of the Ping Center’s old weight plates – totaling more than 18,000 pounds – and about 50 pieces of weight equipment, including Selectorized equipment, weight benches, squat racks and barbells, have been sold. The weight equipment that has been sold was initially purchased for between $550 and $1,993 per item.
“All of the districts that were able to obtain some of the equipment were able to fill a need in their facilities, which means more opportunities for students as well as equipment that is safe and reliable,” said Edwards. “The equipment is in great shape and can serve the districts for many years. Financially, many of our districts’ budgets just don’t allow them to afford to obtain equipment like this on a regular basis.”
Edwards noted that all of the districts that acquired the equipment were not only grateful for the opportunity to provide additional resources to their students but also for the help they received from Westfall and the Ping Center staff in moving and loading the equipment.
“The Athens-Meigs Educational Service Center truly wishes to thank Ohio University, the staff of Moving and Surplus, Ping Center and the Athletic Department for the opportunity to allow us to partner with them to provide resources for our area schools,” Edwards said.
For Westfall and her colleagues, Edwards’ sentiments make the renovations to the University’s recreation center that much more meaningful.
“We’re really excited to be getting this new space at the Ping Center, and then to know that by us getting this new space for our students that local K-12 students are also going to benefit from having our equipment,” Westfall said, “it just seems to be a win-win for everyone.”
To accommodate the expansion of and improvements to the Ping Center’s weight facility, the weight space at the center will be closed beginning July 24 and running through the remainder of the summer.
With a focus on customer service, Campus Recreation and Ping Center staff has worked with the staff at WellWorks to allow OHIO students, faculty, staff and alumni as well as members of the community who have memberships at the center to use WellWorks’ fitness center during this period of transition. WellWorks is a health and wellness facility open to all OHIO employees and retirees as well as their spouses/dependents, community members and graduate students. It is located in Grover Center.
WellWorks’ hours of operation are 5:45 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 5:45 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Ping Center patrons who are interested in using WellWorks’ fitness center during this transition period are asked to avoid accessing the fitness center during WellWorks’ peak hours, which are 4 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
In addition, the fitness director and personal trainers at the Ping Center are developing posters that will provide alternate workouts to patrons while the weight space is closed.
“They’re going to provide information showing patrons alternative exercises that will reach the same results and work the same muscles,” explained Tasha Westfall, senior assistant director of the Ping Center. “We’re trying to offer our patrons a couple of different options during the weeks the weight space will be closed.”
The new and expanded weight area at the Ping Center will reopen Saturday, Aug. 23.
The Ping Center will observe the following hours the remainder of the summer:
Now through Friday, Aug. 15 – Noon to 9 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 16, to Friday, Aug. 22 – Closed
Saturday, Aug. 23, to Sunday, Aug. 24 – 3 to 10 p.m.
For more information about WellWorks, visit http://www.ohio.edu/wellworks/index.html.