Arthur Student Recreation Complex reopens with revamped Fitness Center

Students, faculty, and staff gathered at the Arthur Student Recreation Center on Monday, Nov. 8 for a special reopening ceremony celebrating the addition of a revamped Fitness Center full of equipment funded by donors Barbara and Todd Kopczynski.

The ceremony featured a ribbon-cutting, refreshments, and remarks from President Lee King, senior London England ’22, Vice President for Student Affairs Melanie Hulbert, Director of Alumni Relations Katie Talbert, and Barbara Kopczynski. Attendees viewed the equipment and some completed their Fitness Center orientation shortly after the ceremony.

Lees-McRae College matched the private donation to fund the equipment and a small facility renovation. The reopening of the Student Recreation Complex reinforces the wellness priority initiative of the INEXPRO 2030 Strategic Plan.

The Fitness Center is just over 1,000 square feet and features cardio equipment, cable strength machines, free weights, and functional training equipment. Cardio equipment includes ellipticals, treadmills, a StairMaster stepmill, and upright stationary bikes. There are adjustable benches and a three-tier dumbbell rack. The functional training equipment area has medicine balls, foam rollers, core bags, and an indoor tire.

Barbara Kopczynski said the idea of establishing a Fitness Center started with a conversation with a student in which the student pointed out that only athletes had a place to work out on campus. Barbara Kopczynski then reached out to Talbert, who she met while living in Charlotte, and the idea became real.

“I want to thank you for our desire to see our students have more,” King said while glancing toward the Kopczynski’s. “I want to thank you, as well, for your commitment to helping Lees-McRae attain excellence.”

King reiterated that the opening of the Fitness Center confirms the institution’s commitment to wellness.

“For Lees-McRae to continually thrive and achieve things we never thought possible, planning must drive our priorities," he said. "We must execute this planning with urgency and intensity. Through your commitment, you’re helping us achieve the strategic priorities of wellness, helping to engage the community, and excellence.”

King also addressed the students.

“I hope that you will use this space to the fullest and bring your energy and joy into this facility,” King said. “Let us know how we can continue to improve and what we can continue to do to make your experience excellent.”

England said he is excited to make memories in the new space.

“Maybe even get a little bit stronger,” he said smiling. “I feel like Lees-McRae is making a lot of strides. It’s great to see us making strides in the right direction.”

In addition to the Fitness Center, the Student Recreation Complex will offer health and wellness programming. More details on specific offerings will come soon.

“What drove this is students, who you are, and the passion our donors have for students,” Hulbert said. “This is about bringing your whole self. The list goes on about what it means to be well. When we are well, we are more productive, generous, helpful, innovative, kind, and creative.”

The Student Recreation Complex and Fitness Center are not open to the public. The Fitness Center is accessed by scanning a Lees-McRae ID card, but students, faculty, and staff must first be oriented with the equipment. Completing the 15-minute orientation and signing a waiver activates ID cards for access.

For the remainder of the fall semester, the Center will open from Monday through Friday from 6–10 a.m., noon–4 p.m., and 6–10 p.m. The Center will open from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

By Cory SpiersNovember 09, 2021
Campus Life