Rec receives $150,000

Gannon University’s Carneval Athletic Pavilion – commonly know as the Rec Center – has undergone significant changes both inside and outside its walls.

Gary Garnic, associate vice president of Campus Services, said all of the caissons have been placed, grade beams were formed and poured, water and sewer connections are being placed and the work on the electric transformer pad is in its beginning stages.

“Everything is moving along as expected,” Garnic said.

The anticipation among students, faculty and staff alike has continued to build as the renovations progress.

Mark Richard, Gannon athletic director, said this year is a year of transition for the athletic department.

“We have three new sports – competitive cheer, acrobatics and tumbling and JV baseball, and we have more athletes than we’ve had in the past,” he said.

With all the new changes, Richard explained that the athletic department is emphasizing its synergistic focus.

“It is important we work together because of the renovations,” he said.

The center is now equipped with a recruiting lounge where coaches are able to meet with potential athletes.

Chris Pike, a sport and exercise science and pre-physical therapy major, said the new Rec Center and the lounge will impact sports recruitment.

The students also acknowledge the social possibilities the center will allow.

Kaitlyn Roose, a sophomore psychology major and softball player, is a member of the renoplayer, is a member of the renovation committee, said she was excited about the renovations.

“It will encompass everything you’d want to do at a gym,” Roose said.

The renovation committee voted to build a café as one of the many new features.

The café is planned to serve smoothies and healthy wraps and snacks.

“The students want healthy,” she said.

In addition to the new features of the renovations, a Human Performance Center is being built as well. It will include a 40-by-20 motion analysis lab and a 40-by-40 human performance and testing lab.

The university received $100,000 from the Alden Trust and $50,000 from the Dr. and Mrs. Arthur William Phillips Charitable Trust as grants to be used toward the Center’s new equipment.

The Alden Trust grant will fund the ParvoMedics metabolic measurement system and portable metabolic unit, which will measure the cardiovascular performance of test subjects on three Computrainer stationary bicycles. Each measurement unit is specifically designed to interact with the ParvoMedics unit, a 40-square-foot, high-speed treadmill.

Kory Stauffer, Ph.D., an assistant professor of sport and exercise science, said the treadmill allows multiple testing at once, more side-to-side motion and provides more safety and ease for different populations during testing.

The grant from the Phillips Trust will fund motion capture equipment and its associated telemetry equipment. This equipment uses a series of cameras to record subjects’ movements from various angles that aid in determining muscle strength and medical abnormalities and analyze the biomechanics of movement.

State-of-the-art equipment will be used in the lab to achieve the students’ full potential for real-world experience, and to surpass the public’s expectations for a small Division II school,” Jason Willow, Ph.D., an assistant professor of sport and exercise, said.

Gannon’s graduate and undergraduate physical therapy, occupational therapy and sport and exercise science programs are the first in the region to use the motion-capture equipment in an educational setting.

Willow said he hopes to eventually conduct educational community outreach projects and plans to focus on obesity, rehabilitation from strokes and sports injuries. He said he hopes to work with local high school wrestling teams on testing measurements such as body mass index.

Steven Mauro, Ph.D., dean of Gannon’s Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences, said the  university is delighted to receive these grants, which will enable an unprecedented range of educational, research and community service efforts.

“Our ability to comprehensively train experts and create cross-disciplinary synergies directed at a patient’s optimal well-being is something the university and the region has never seen before,” he said.

MALLORY HEDLUND

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