After nearly 18 months of hard work, including a few setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Serra Dow Expansion Project’s construction is complete.
The Serra Dow Expansion Project was first introduced to the Albion College community on March 24, 2019, when Joe Serra, President of Serra Automotive and Albion alumnus, and his wife, Julie Serra, announced their plan to completely fund a $3.2 million dollar expansion of The Dow.
During the couple’s announcement, which was made public via a short interview clip, Julie Serra spoke of how she hoped to see The Dow’s expansion transform The Dow into yet another area on campus where all Albion College students felt ‘welcomed and accepted.’
“The wellness and fitness center is something that is needed and is something that is a passion for the both of us, because it affects all the students,” Joe Serra said in the video. “I’m hoping it will help draw future students to consider and be a part of Albion.”
Today, The Serra’s goals are closer than ever to becoming a reality.
The New and Improved Dow
The Serra Dow renovations added a total of 11,000 square footage to The Dow’s already existing facilities. The most notable new amenities include a cardio and fitness center, a nutrition and wellness center, a Study Lounge and a multipurpose gym.
The Cardio and Fitness Center
The Dow is now home to a 6,000 square foot cardio and fitness center. The center is located inside and to the left of The Dow’s recently constructed entryway. It is equipped with brand-new cardio, free weight and cable machine workout equipment.
Although the cardio and fitness center’s construction has been completed, Dow staff are currently working to place the last pieces of the exercise equipment. The Dow’s indoor fitness facilities are expected to open shortly after Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-20, which in part prohibits the use of gyms and indoor fitness facilities, is lifted.
The Nutrition and Wellness Center
The Serra Dow Expansion Project also created a new on-campus dining option: The Nutrition and Wellness Center. The center resembles a juice bar and is located to the right of The Dow’s new entrance. As the grab-and-go eatery’s name suggests, The Nutrition and Wellness Center is going to focus on providing Albion College students with healthy snacks, meals and drink options.
“[Dow administrative staff] are in the process of finalizing some of the operations of the Smoothie Bar, including menu, hours of operation and additional equipment,” said Matthew Arend, Albion College’s athletic director, via email. “The space will be managed by Metz, and we will be working closely with them on the final details. We are hoping that the Smoothie Bar will be open in a few weeks to give students another food/snack option.”
A new study lounge is located to the right of The Wellness and Nutrition station. One of the most notable aspects of The Dow’s first-ever study space is its relaxation pods. There are three relaxation pods in total, and each pod houses one table with two parallel booth-style benches. The study area also offers traditional-style study tables and lounge chairs.
The study space is currently open to Albion students from 6 a.m. to midnight Monday through Sunday, with the exception of Saturday. On Saturdays, the study area is available to Albion students from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Multi-purpose Gym
Located near The Cardio and Fitness Center, The Dow’s new multi-purpose gym features mirrors that span the length of two of its four walls, hardwood floor and a ballet bar that surrounds nearly the entire room. The room is expected to be used mostly by fitness, theater and dance classes.
Other Components of The Serra Dow Expansion
Other aspects of The Serra Dow expansion include new administrative offices, new women’s and men’s locker rooms, all gender bathrooms, a new conference area and air conditioning.
For further updates and information pertaining to the status of The Dow, check out The Dow’s Instagram and Twitter, @albiondow.