JCC undergoes extreme makeover

Shannon O’Reilly ('08)/ Eastside Community Editor

JCC expansionJCC renovationFully immersed in summer, there is no better time to work on summer tans and personal fitness. Many East students depend on the Jewish Community Center, commonly called the JCC, year round for its gym facilities. Yet, with the abundance of members, the JCC experienced issues involving size and space.

Fortunately, all these problems were addressed by a major expansion, so large that it fell no shorter than an extreme makeover. More than doubling its size, the JCC’s expansion not only replaces out-of-date equipment, but also adds new enmities that are grabbing members’ attentions.

Some of these enmities include a dedicated stretching area, an indoor spin room and physical therapy offices. Another new addition is the strength equipment, which is a full circuit that covers all body parts. For those more focused on building muscle mass, the JCC also offers free-weight equipment, ranging from benches to cable stations.

With so many changes, the gym is unrecognizable. Now, before entering the gym, a large desk of fitness employees greets members. Also, a wall divides the gym into two rooms, one room featuring free weight equipment and the other cardiovascular equipment.

“Some of the largest changes are size and space, but most of all is the increase in equipment, especially cardiovascular,” said assistant fitness director Kristina Storniolo.

Before, one of the largest problems with the old gym was waiting to use certain exercise machines, which caused much agitation. The expansion easily solves this dilemma with an increase in number and variety of equipment.

“There is no longer a wait,” said Storniolo.

Not only has the gym itself expanded, but so has the service. Twenty new people have been added to the fitness staff and a new organizational system has been established. Unlike in the past, staff members are designated jobs at either the desk or floor, therefore ensuring that all of the gym members’ needs are addressed efficiently and effectively.

“You won’t find the kind of service we have here at a gym like Bally’s,” said Storniolo.

Aside from service, one of the most notable changes is the increase in technology. Now all cardiovascular machines, for example treadmills and ellipticals, include televisions. A person simply has to plug in his or her own headphones into the machine, and catching a movie on HBO or a re-run of “Full House” while running a mile becomes a reality.

“It gives coach potato a whole new meaning,” said Molly Sauer (’08).

A frequent attendee of the gym, Sauer gladly embraces the changes resulting from the expansion at the JCC.

“They should have done it a while ago,” said Sauer.

Although questionable why the expansion did not occur earlier, it is clear that a makeover was much needed. Already there is a great increase in people joining the gym. Two-hundred new members have signed up between May and June, and many old members have returned because of the gym’s larger size.

Between the new equipment and the spacious atmosphere, an expansion is the perfect solution. No longer will worries of long waits and limitations burden members in the pursuit of that perfect body. On the down side, there is no derivative for excuses.