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Free campus fitness center also great for fun and games

Laker Current Staff Report

The center is tucked in a corner at the Harrison campus, but there’s a treasure inside. Photo by SUSAN HOOD.

HARRISON — MMCC’s  Recreation and Fitness Center provides more than just strength training and cardio exercising. It’s also a gathering spot for friends or simply an area to kick back and relax.

The four-year-old center, tucked in a corner on the Harrison campus, isn’t an area that’s easily noticed – but once you find it, you’ll likely return.

Treadmills, bikes and ellipticals are some of the more popular machines along with a full circuit of weight equipment and free weights. Also available are locker rooms and an aerobics room. Use of the facilities is free for students taking three or more credits.

But the fitness equipment is just the beginning. It’s also set up for socializing. There are TVs, video systems with free use of games, computer stations, board games, vending machines and even a pool table.

MMCC students Scott Trotter and Jessica Ens find a quiet place for lunch in the fitness center. Photo by SUSAN HOOD.

“It’s very nice, soothing,” said Scott Trotter, a Farwell sophomore who was eating lunch there with a friend. “You can work out, watch TV, play games. It’s a way to have fun.”

Shelley Halifax, a Beaverton student enrolled in the medical office program, agreed. “I love the recreation center. It’s a good place to come down, take a breath, relax from the stress of classes.” Halifax, who also works at the center, described the atmosphere as “warm and friendly.”

“There’s some great camaraderie,” she said.

A selection of barbells are available for student use. Photo by SUSAN HOOD.

Though the summer crowds are smaller, Halifax said in fall and winter there are often 45-50 people at a time, and there are times when more computers and space would be beneficial.

Jessica Ens, a student from Gladwin studying early childhood education, agreed that use of the center increases substantially in fall and winter. “The younger people familiar with the gaming use the games and TV.”  She said that usually the older students or community members head to the workout equipment.

Ens, like Halifax, said she’d like to see more space, and possibly a swimming pool. “(The college) probably could make money off it,” she said.

Trotter’s suggestion for the future would be the addition of an indoor basketball court, or even just a couple of hoops. “It would be sweet,” he said.

To use the center, students must show their student ID. First-time users must complete a membership packet which is available at the center or online at http://www.midmich.edu/?gid=2&sid=169&pid=1503. Use of the facility is covered by the Student Activity Fee, which is paid by students enrolled in three or more credit hours.

The center offers a variety of exercise equipment both for strength training and cardio exercise. Photo by SUSAN HOOD.

Students aren’t the only ones welcome in the facility. For a modest fee, community members can use the center on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis. There are special rates available to senior citizens and MMCC staff.

During the school year, the Recreation and Fitness Center is open from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Friday. Summer and holiday hours vary.

For students who can’t make it to the Harrison Campus, there are discounts available at other local fitness centers. Some of the centers include:

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