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RPAC receives yearly $300K equipment update

Michael Periatt / Asst. sports editor

Since the RPAC opened its doors in 2005, it has been using a $300,000-a-year equipment upkeep plan. This year’s update includes replacing all of the RPAC’S strength machines.

Already this quarter, 28 new Paramount strength machines have been swapped for the old ones, according to Dave DeAngelo, RPAC facility operations director.

This update includes the new machines located on the first floor and ground floor. The new machines are: one functional trainer, two leg extensions, one seated curl, one leg press, two inner thighs, two outer thighs, two bicep curls, one tricep extension, four pectoral fly/rear deltoids, one rotary chest press, two seated rows, one low back, three lat pulldowns, one rotary shoulder press, one abdominal, one rotary torso, one calf and one glute, according to DeAngelo.

In addition to these machines, DeAngelo said the Cybex and free motion strength machines will be changed sometime in Winter Quarter.

DeAngelo said the plans to keep the facility up-to-date were created when RPAC was designed.

“The old facility, Larkins Hall, was considered old and out-of-date. The RPAC staff wanted to avoid that happening to the RPAC so money was put aside for scheduled equipment updates to keep the facility fresh and new.” DeAngelo said. “Equipment is changing all the time; we’re just trying to keep up.”

DeAngelo said the money for upkeep is gathered by multiple outlets. Part of the university’s general funds are allocated to the RPAC as well as the money from the $82 recreational fee students pay each quarter.

Layne Connolly, a first-year in engineering, said she thinks the student fee to use the RPAC is expensive.

“The $82 is a lot of money, but there is a bunch of equipment and we get to use the other gyms,” Connolly said.

Memberships from faculty, spouses, dependents and employees also contribute a large amount of incoming funds to the RPAC.

The first equipment update occurred in the RPAC’s third year of operation in 2008, when the cardio machines were replaced. DeAngelo said that the cardio machines are used the most.

“The average life of cardiovascular equipment is three to five years and we have the most diverse group of people using them; they receive the most wear and tear,” DeAngelo said.

The treadmills are the most expensive piece of equipment to replace. But DeAngelo said they are worth it because of how little maintenance they require.

“We are open 18 hours a day and these machines are running pretty much the whole time.”

Last year, DeAngelo said the free weight equipment was updated. He said that after this year’s changes are complete, there will be no original equipment in the RPAC.

DeAngelo and his staff are planning to form a student group to get feedback on the RPAC’s new additions.

“We hope that the RPAC is a point of pride for students; we want to get equipment that we think students are going to like. We want the students to know their student fee dollars are hard at work,” DeAngelo said.

Irene Gentzel, a fourth-year in plant biology, said she has just started coming to the RPAC but has a positive review of the facilities.

“I used to go to the Marion campus; the gym there is pretty small, like one room. I started coming here because I just needed to get some exercise,” Gentzel said. “It’s pretty nice and has a lot of equipment.”

Connolly said there are only two of her favorite machine at the RPAC.

“I like the elliptical and running combination machines but there are only two of them and nowhere else has them,” Connolly said.

DeAngelo has gotten some odd requests for equipment.

“I get a lot of requests for stuff that people see on TV and think that we should have here. I’ve had requests for Nordic tracks and step mills; I’m not sure if they even make those anymore,” DeAngelo said.

DeAngelo said that not all updates can be planned. The RPAC also frequently replaces miscellaneous equipment as needed, including medicine balls and machine attachments. He said these purchases are from the regular operations budget.

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