Boasting towering windows and grand, open spaces for students to watch three floors of activity while sweating through their morning jogs, Winona State University students and staff have responded well to the opening of the new Integrated Wellness Center (IWC) and for good reason.
Seth Diters, a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach, said WSU’s new wellness center compares to that of much larger, Division I schools.
“I’ve worked at Syracuse University and the University of Iowa, and the (Integrated Wellness Center) here is bigger and offers more for both students and athletes,” said Diters.
The 86,000 square-foot addition to Memorial Hall is a combination of health and physical education, fitness, athletics, and student health and counseling services. It houses a new weight room, cardio floor, aerobics room, basketball courts and indoor track. But the best thing, according to some WSU students, is the Integrated Wellness Center’s location.
“It means a lot that it’s actually on campus, so more people can use it,” said Steve Passe, a junior criminal justice major. “It is a new and beautiful facility.”
“(The wellness center) is in a good location and offers a better opportunity (for students) to stay healthy,” said Sharon Flom, an IWC front desk assistant.
Flom, who also worked at WSU’s previous fitness center located off-campus in the basement of Wabasha Hall, said student turnout has increased greatly.
“When I worked at Wabasha, there was only a trickle of people (coming to work out), but now it’s a steady stream,” said Flom, a freshman psychology major.
Flom and Passe, both who said they use the wellness center regularly, have taken notice of something that wasn’t available in Wabasha’s fitness center.
“You can actually see outside, “ said Passe. “You can see the bluffs of Winona.”
“My favorite thing is the big window (on the second and third floor) that let’s in natural light,” said Flom. “It’s absolutely gorgeous.”
Loren Liming, a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach at WSU since January 2010, said the increased amount and variety of new equipment has made the IWC more accessible.
“The cardio floor is always packed and there is a broad spectrum of people (using the wellness center),” said Liming.
Diters and Liming, who will be working with most Warrior athletic teams, added that the new wellness center is going to be a huge recruiting device for the university.
“It’s going to make what we do (as coaches) a lot easier,” said Diters. “The Integrated Wellness Center is a great tool that everyone on campus can utilize to it’s full potential.”
The Integrated Wellness Center is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
A dedication ceremony for the Integrated Wellness Complex will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17, in the IWC Atrium.