Pumping up the Dow

Upon walking into the Dow Recreation and Wellness Center, the first thing to hit the nose is the smell of fresh paint.

Part of the campus Master Plan, the Dow is under construction with renovations nearing completion.

“The Dow renovation was long overdue to meet the needs of our current students,” said Jerry Block, men’s soccer coach and associate director of facilities and programming.  “In the past few years we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of students, faculty, and staff using the fitness equipment.” 

The front desk has been moved to the side and completely rebuilt, accompanied by a new scanning system and a fresh coat of paint on the lobby walls.  New windows have been installed across the hall from the old classroom doors, providing new views of the pool and diving area.  

“These particular renovations were driven in part by the work and recommendations of the Wellness/Athletics Research Team, which included faculty, staff, alumni, and student representative Jeff Simmons (’09),” said Mike Frandsen, interim vice president of finance in administration. 

The Dow is used daily by students practicing for sports, working out, or just taking classes. The classroom where some of these classes were held, however, no longer exists.  The wall has been taken down, and a fitness center is on the way. 

“The new fitness area will be a fantastic addition,” Block said.  “Add in the new carpet, fresh paint, increased energy efficient lighting, windows looking into the pool, new sound system, additional security cameras, and the new front desk, and the Dow is looking really good.” 

A classroom in the Herrick Theater building was expanded in order to make up for the removed Dow classroom. 

Money for the renovation project came from funds designated for facilities upkeep and renovation, according to Frandsen.  The budget for the project is $500,000 and was approved in May at a Board of Trustees meeting.  The project is aimed to fix up more than just the new fitness room. 

“I think (the renovations) will create a great new space on campus that may contribute to enhanced health and wellness for all members of the Albion College community,” Frandsen said. 

The classroom was completed before school resumed in August to facilitate the academic classes taught in the Dow complex.  The fitness room is projected to be finished before the 2009 Homecoming weekend.

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