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Tech’s old fitness center transforming into Academic Wellness Center

Story courtesy of Buddy Pearson at Tennessee Tech University


With the opening of Tennessee Tech’s new Marc L. Burnett Student Recreation and Fitness Center, the old fitness center has a new purpose and a new name.


The Academic Wellness Center (AWC), which used to be affectionately known as “The Fit,” will now be home to several exercise science and physical education classes. Tennessee Tech athletics will also utilize the facility.


“We aren’t moving, we are just expanding our footprint on campus,” said Christy Killman, chair of the exercise science department. “One of the reasons we are doing that is that we have outgrown Memorial Gym.”


This summer, the Academic Wellness Center has been transformed from a recreational facility to an academic facility. The 78,000 square feet facility which opened in August 1991, will now be home to almost all of the PHED classes that are held on campus. If a course is scheduled to meet off campus like shooting, bowling, Crossfit and golf, the first day of class will still be in Memorial Gym. Classes such as ninja training, ballroom dancing, volleyball and men’s basketball will still meet in Memorial Gym. Fitness walking, cardio conditioning, weight training and others will meet in the AWC.


“Adding this space will help grow the number of students who can and will and want to participate in our PHED activity courses,” Killman explained. “Students got to where they didn’t want to take those classes in Mem Gym. Now they can come over to the AWC and take those classes where there is AC, more space and options.”


Athletic advising offices and athletics study hall will be housed in the AWC along with exercise science classes such as exercise prescription, assessment, concepts of health and wellness, leadership development, training for performance, ethical issues in sport, and all athletic training courses. Many of the PHED course offerings will also be in the AWC.


“This gives us an opportunity to offer more classes at better times,” said Killman. “It gives us places to have better lab experiences. It has given us an opportunity to really continue to grow our programs and our student major population.”


The pool inside the AWC has been closed. Areas inside the AWC have been ‘renovated’ to add space and classes for students.


“Once people know what the Academic Wellness Center is, where it is, and what it’s all about, we will be able to have a lot more going on,” Killman said. “We will still have a lot happening in Memorial Gym, too.”

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