by Lacie Smith ‘06

John Brodowski ’05 pole vaults in the John Dietrich Field House.

Just a short time ago, Muhlenberg’s indoor athletic facility was anything but adequate, outgrown by the Mules’ ever-growing athletic program. The weight room could comfortably hold only 20 people. The fitness loft was packed at peak hours. The training room became extremely tight in the midst of busy seasons and going for treatment meant saving an extra hour or two of your day just to make sure you could find a space. The floors of both Memorial Hall and John Dietrich Field House had seen their better days, and indoor track meets were not an option due to lack of the right equipment.

However in late August 2004, all the problems vanished with the grand opening of the new Life Sports Center. An impressive new 40,000-square-foot, three-level addition greeted students coming back from summer vacation.

Along with a spacious weight room, beautiful cardio-fitness area overlooking Scotty Wood Stadium, new coaches’ offices, renovations to the Field House, new locker rooms and a large training facility, comes a better quality of life for the Muhlenberg athlete. The new Life Sports Center is constantly buzzing with activity that was not an option before.

Each and every sport at Muhlenberg benefits from the new facility, in some way or another. It is true that the new Life Sports Center has affected some teams more than it has others, but all teams have found greater happiness with the improvements.

Erika Koop ’08 competes at an indoor track meet.

Even though most of the fall sports use outdoor facilities, the new Life Sports Center had some impact on their seasons. Junior football player Tom Wargacki said, “We now have locker rooms that allow us to enter directly into Scotty Wood Stadium, the training room lets us all get what we have to get done in an efficient amount of time, and lifting with a buddy is now easier.”

Senior field hockey player Pam Coakley added, “The cardio-fitness area has helped our team get into better shape. We also gained some new fans because the workout area overlooks the field. Often people would approach me and tell me they watched the game while they worked out. It felt good to know people were paying attention to us.”

It is easy to say that the winter sports have benefited most from the facility. In the dead of winter, when going outside means bundling up in several layers, the Life Sports Center becomes home to athletes.

Sophomore basketball standout Jeff Stewart commented on the improvements: “The cardio-fitness area and the weight room helped our team condition properly for the season. All the new windows are crucial. They give off a lot of light and make the lifting atmosphere much better.”

Senior Gwen Doyle of the women’s team added, “The new basketball coaching offices overlook the gym and are much bigger. We have a new floor, weight room, and training room that all add to the experience.”

Junior Chris Gibson spoke about how the changes impacted the wrestling season. The new wrestling room, which used to be the weight room, is twice the size of the room the wrestlers used for the last several years. “We can get more things done now,” he said, “And it is a much better work environment.” Gibson also mentioned that team lifts were now possible and the size of the weight room and caliber of the equipment was a “big improvement.”


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