Construction pushes students to off-campus gyms

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With the relocation of the weight room to the concession area of O’Shaughnessy Stadium, some St. Thomas students are choosing alternative places to work out.

Strength coach Tyrone Stenzel said the new weight room is “really undersized.”

“We tried to get as many treadmills in here as we can,” Stenzel said. “We tried to use the hallway as effectively as we can for cardio. It’s just that we have a space crunch, and there’s really no place we can go.”

Senior Bereket Worku is feeling the direct effects of that crunch. It has caused him to purchase a membership with LA Fitness, a local sports club he described as “convenient and always open” to suit his workout needs. The membership fee is $40 per month.

Worku isn’t the only St. Thomas student willing to venture off campus and pay membership fees to pump iron or work up a sweat.

LA Fitness General Manager Aaron Evans said he’s seen “at least a 20 to 30 percent increase on St. Thomas kids” purchasing memberships with LA Fitness since last semester.

“We get at least four or five [St. Thomas students] walking through the door each day, usually saying that their gym is down and they’re looking for some place to work out,” Evans said. “That’s more students than we see per day.”

LA Fitness is located on 1370 University Ave. West, less than three miles from the St. Paul campus.

St. Thomas senior John Busch, who uses the new weight room regularly, says that while LA Fitness may be a better facility with newer equipment, “There’s also something to be said about lifting with your classmates.”

The St. Thomas weight room will remain underneath the stadium bleachers until the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex opens in August.

Miles Trump can be reached at