By Michelle Dreiling
Staff reporter

Getting in shape just got cheaper. The Winfield Recreation Center and Southwestern have teamed up to provide school employees with access to the center’s facilities for a discounted price. Employees in the business office and interested staff have tried to rally interest for some time, but never had the overwhelming interest until this year. About 50 employees are taking advantage of the discount. Jill Thompson, benefits administrator, said, “The nice thing about the rec center is that it allows us to not have to compete for time with the sports teams that need our weight room on campus.”

Many employees have been using the facilities as members already. Mike Harper, assistant professor of philosophy, is one example. “I run somewhat consistently on my own, and in the winter it’s hard. I wanted someplace where I could do that” said Harper. “It’s a positive thing for the school to promote improving health for its employees.”

Cheryl Barnett, resource sharing, and her husband have been members of the recreation center for about a year. “We use the rec center almost every day. Under normal circumstances we’re there six times a week,” said Barnett. They do cardio three days a week and weight training on alternate days. Her husband uses the bicycle for cardio, while she uses the elliptical machine. “We really enjoy it, it’s not a chore to stay in shape anymore,” said Barnett. Employees such as Barnett, who are already members, will be reimbursed the difference between the amount which they originally paid and the discounted price. “I think it’s going to save us a bit of money,” said Barnett.

In addition to the employees who are already members of the recreation center, many are joining for the first time this year because of the employee discount. Aimee Campbell, financial aid counselor, is a first-time member. “I think it’s a good incentive for people who work at the school to get in shape and learn about fitness and getting healthy,” said Campbell. “I had a daughter (born) about a year ago, and what woman doesn’t think she needs to lose a little weight? It’s a pretty good deal.”

The recreation center offers a wide variety of workout equipment. There is a cardiovascular area with treadmills, stair masters, elliptical machines and bikes. There are also six weight machines, and an extensive free weight area.

The center is located at 624 College St., and is open Monday through Thursday from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The indoor swimming pool is open on Monday and Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.

Michelle Dreiling is a senior majoring in communication. You may e-mail her at michelle.dreiling@sckans.edu.