By Alicia Stearn
New Year’s resolutions may be difficult to keep, yet Pennocks Bridge, one of DCCC’s branch campuses, seems to be keeping theirs by letting students have access to a fitness center while they attend classes.
In Oct. 2015, 75 students from Pennocks Bridge were granted access to the fitness center, previously reserved for technical college high school students only.
The decision came about after students were asked to take a survey, giving feedback on their experience at the campus, at the end of 2015 spring semester.
“Students expressed desire for access to the gym and they pay an activities fee for it,” said Kevin Ballisty, DCCC director at the PB campus.
The Chester County Intermediate Unit owns the building, yet originally the space that DCCC reserved for the college didn’t include the fitness center. However, when the eight-year contract was renewed, DCCC officials were able to add the fitness center into the “space reserved.”
“It works out for when [the students] get done classes and have something to do,” said Jenna Morris, a work study student at the fitness center. “They don’t have to buy a gym member-ship elsewhere. It’s right here.”
Because the fitness center is shared with high schoolers, college students have to sign a waiver before they can start using the equipment. Currently, 59 students have signed the waiver and use the gym.
“When you start something in the middle of the semester, it’s hard for people to change their routines,” Ballisty said in reference to the number of relatively low students using the gym.
Since the gym needs to be staffed, this also opens up opportunity for work study on the campus; therefore, this is the first time that Pennocks Bridge campus has been able to have work study students. Ten students applied to take advantage of this opportunity, and three students were hired for the job: Joann Taylor, Jenna Morris, and Matt Callaghan.
Adam Miner, a faculty member from the Learning Commons, explained that the work study student on duty, Matt Callaghan, helped him with using the machines.
“There was an awesome personal trainer to help out and everything we needed was available.” Miner said.
The gym is open four days a week, Monday-Thursday from 2:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Dawn Lagunas, a DCCC counselor hosts a meditation class at 2:45 p.m. on Thursdays.
DCCC student, Cameron Cooper said, “Hours are a bit limited but you definitely get a good workout in the time frame. It’s not bad for a free gym.”
Ballisty explained he wanted to make the gym open for five days, possibly six for the upcoming fall semester.
Along with the gym opening up, another resource the students also asked for was a hot foods service. The college was able to make that work as well, by arranging for the County Cup to build an area in the office to sell breakfast, Wawa coffee, and lunch.
The culinary high school students help by making and selling soups.
“My friend and I were talking about using the gym in the future.” said Zachary Lloyd, a liberal arts major at DCCC. “If I were to go, it would work perfectly after class.”