IMPE gets TV upgrades

By Michael Logil

Many people who returned to the east wing of the Intramural and Physical Education (IMPE) Building after winter break did not expect to see small viewing screens with cable television attached to their treadmills and elliptical machines. Installed during the first two weeks of winter break, these upgraded machines are part of an experiment by the Division of Campus Recreation to incorporate new technology into the facilities.

By plugging headphones into the jack, patrons can listen and watch their favorite television programs through the small viewing screens attached to many of the cardiovascular workout machines in IMPE’s East Wing.

The idea to use these viewing screens came from a need to update and enhance the workout experience, as well as to help compete with other private gyms, Brian Baxter, assistant director of the Division of Campus Recreation said.

“You see this at private health clubs and we want to do something for students that says that we’re keeping up with the technology,” he said.

Many students are also migrating to Campus Recreation Center East (CRCE) because of the newer facilities, Baxter said, and the department wants to spread out the attendance level between CRCE and IMPE during peak business times.

“We’ve been running about 5,000 to 6,000 (people) a day through both: three to four at CRCE and one to two at IMPE,” Baxter said.

The department also wants to make sure that students will enjoy the viewing screens and consider them helpful workout tools. Each viewing screen costs around $1,000 and is featured on about 20 machines.

By the end of construction, the department hopes to have 150 to 200 cardio machines equipped with viewing screens. However, the additional screens will not be added unless patron feedback is positive.

So far, the machines with viewing screens are usually occupied.

“I’ve used it,” said IMPE employee Lance Moore, senior in AHS. “I think it makes cardio more enjoyable.”

Although Baxter said it is impossible to know if the viewing screens are attracting more members to IMPE until after peak hours end, many patrons believe that these screens will lead to a positive workout experience and that the quality of their workouts will increase.

“It’s great, it’s more entertaining,” said Sarah DeRuntz, senior in LAS. “You don’t think about what you’re doing so much.”