SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - A $2.6 million addition to Patterson Hall that will provide new classrooms, exercise laboratories and student-faculty research space for the department of exercise and rehabilitative sciences is nearly complete.
The two-story, 8,100-square-feet addition added a new building front, a resistance-training laboratory and new classrooms on the first floor and a Multipurpose Exercise Room on the second floor. The contractor is doing additional work and some finishing touches, while the University waits for delivery and installation of exercise equipment.
The Patterson expansion "really puts us in the top end of what universities have to offer in exercise science," said Jeff Lynn, associate professor of exercise and rehabilitative sciences. "I believe we were already among the elite in the country in preparing students for careers in exercise science. Now students are going to have access to some of the highest tech equipment in the world. So this is an investment in the future."
SRU has shown leadership in health and wellness for years, launching its version of the international "Exercise is Medicine" initiative and a 10,000-steps campus walking challenge for students, faculty and staff. President Cheryl Norton's first inauguration activity was a 5K-run/2K- walk that took place last Saturday.
Lynn said the Resistance Training Laboratory would be equipped with Technogym treadmills and elliptical machines, which are among the world's best. The equipment utilizes flash drive computer technology. Students will log on to treadmills, receive fitness instruction and then save the data on flash drives to track their progress in becoming more fit or devising workouts for themselves or a community client.
"We've got two floors of new teaching space. To my knowledge, we're going to be the most advanced University when it comes to teaching students by combining technology with exercise prescription," Lynn said.
The second floor Multipurpose Exercise Room will be used for group fitness classes, Lynn said. "It provides us an open space for any imaginable exercise where you need room to move," he said.
The room includes a sound system and a wood floor that's cushioned. The sound system will play music that can be adjusted to match the velocity of a workout.
"What students are going to be able to learn, using this very sophisticated equipment, is how to control, manage and teach exercise routines or sessions," Lynn said.
"It's going to be great, not just for the students, but for the field," said Carena Winters, assistant professor of exercise and rehabilitative sciences. "We will have the latest technology, which is essential for keeping up with the field and keeping students on the cutting edge in terms of marketability for employment."
Patterson opened in 1958 as a residence hall. In 2008, SRU converted the building into an academic building, expanding it by 2,700 square feet. The University saved an estimated $15 million in new construction costs by repurposing Patterson, which includes offices for exercise and rehabilitative sciences.
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