Ping Center receives equipment updates

New barbells are among the equipment added to Ping Center during the summer. (Laura Winegar| for The Post)

The new weight room in Ping Center is just the beginning of the facility’s planned upgrades — which might also include adding on a floor.

This past summer’s upgrades cost about $15,000 and include: three new squat racks, five new barbells and three new sets of bumper plates. All of the bench presses were also refurbished, said Tasha Westfall, Ping’s interim assistant director.

The $15,000 came from the campus recreation budget that is allocated by the Budget Planning Council. The council allocated approximately $200,000 to Ping — money to be used over the next three years.

But officials are also considering adding an entire new level on to the facility. The plans are strictly in a developmental stage and have no set timetable.

Steven Sammons, Ping’s interim executive director of campus recreation, estimated the additions would add close to 6,000 square feet to Ping.

Ping 2015, a committee composed of staff, faculty and undergraduate and graduate students, spearheaded the summer’s updates to improve building.

“We just want Ping to be a friendly environment. … we are trying to make it a better facility for the students,” said Matt Keller, a senior and member of the Ping 2015 committee.

Keller said he hopes the committee can transform Ping into a place where students want to go to hang out and where everyone can feel comfortable.

The decision to upgrade Ping was a result of student feedback, which showed a desire for more free weight options. Ping staff held open forums and sent out surveys and emails to gather information.

“It’s a problem when you have people lining up (outside the free weight room) like it is a bar,” Sammons said.

Other definite plans for Ping are to turn Area B, the basketball court located next to the equipment desk, into an all new free-weight room and turn the current free-weight room into a “cross-fit” training area to be completed sometime in 2014.

The Post | 325 Baker University Center | Athens, Ohio 45701

Newsroom: (740) 593-4011 | Front Desk: (740) 593-4010 | Advertising: (740) 593-4018 | Fax: (740) 593-0561 | E-mail:

Surf New Media