This story originally appeared in UCLA Today, a discontinued publication.

New south campus gym to open soon

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At the sneak peak last month, visitors could view maps and renderings before touring the new gym.
At the sneak peak last month, visitors viewed maps and renderings before touring the new gym.
UCLA’s newest gym, the Kinross Recreation Center, is expected to open later this month when it will cater not just to south campus staff and faculty but also to graduate students.
 
[Editor's note, Jan. 31: UCLA Recreation has announced the gym will open at the start of spring quarter.][April 3 update: Now open!]
 
The new facility, which will be closed to undergraduates, marks the return of a fitness center near south campus and the  Wilshire Center, which have been without easy access to a nearby UCLA gym since Fit Center South closed in summer 2010.
 
Housed on the first floor of Kinross Building, Kinross Rec (KREC) is almost three times larger than the former Fit Center South, which served about 275 faculty and staff. Because the Kinross Building, home to the Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Sponsored Research as well as other UCLA departments, is much closer and more convenient to Wilshire Boulevard, the new gym is expected to serve more faculty and staff than before. The new gym also aims to attract more graduate students, many of whom live in the relatively close Weyburn Terrace. Equipped with a graduate student lounge, the gym will double as a kind of community center for graduate students, said Amber Brown, the assistant director of the Fitwell Program in UCLA Recreation.
 
Brown offered tours of the facility to interested Bruins at a December sneak peek. Many visitors were former Fit Center South members who had to use the main Wooden center gym after the south campus facility closed. They’ll be able to continue working out at the Wooden center until the new Kinross center is fully open.
 
UCLA Recreation employees answered questions and helped Bruins sign up for KREC memberships.
UCLA Recreation employees answered questions and helped Bruins sign up for KREC memberships.
“Everyone seems really excited,” Brown said. “The new space is bigger than they expected, and it has lots of great features.”
 
It will have, for example, a small store selling healthy snacks, an outdoor exercise courtyard and a studio for group classes, Brown said. There is also a cardio room, strength-training room and the graduate student lounge. Each room is divided from the main hallway by low walls topped by glass windows, giving the facility a sense of openness and flow.
 
UCLA Recreation plans to fill the cardio space with 10 treadmills, seven bikes, six ellipticals and five other workout machines. The cardio room also includes a stretching area with floor mats and a bar, and the weight room opens onto the courtyard. The studio will feature hardwood floors, 15 spinning bikes and 15 rowing machines for classes. The graduate lounge will include the snack store, meeting rooms, a television, couches, tables and a study bar, Brown said.
 
In the main hallway, a hydration station will provide not just a water fountain, but also a sensor-activated water-bottle tap. In addition to separate men’s and women’s locker rooms, the gym will have a family restroom. Coin-operated lockers are available, along with cubbies in the group exercise room, Brown said.
 
These renderings helped Bruins imagine what the gym would look like once completed.
Renderings of what the new gym would look like once completed. Click to enlarge.
Former members greeted Brown warmly at the sneak preview. “It’ll be good to be back over here,” said one man. “Wooden center is a little too crowded.”
 
“The south campus faculty and staff are really excited to come back,” said Erin Barela, a UCLA Recreation sales and services coordinator. “For a lot of them, getting to the Wooden Center has meant getting in the car, driving, finding parking, maybe even paying for extra parking.”
 
The idea of working up a sweat next to older grad students also pleased some faculty and staff, she added.
 
“When they hear it’s not open to undergrads, only grads, some people get excited,” Barela said. “For example, I just gave birth not long ago. I don’t necessarily want to exercise on a machine next to a perfect 21-year-old with no cellulite.”
 
Parking at KREC should also be more convenient with Lot 36 adjacent and Parking Structure 32 close by. Many south campus employees already park there, Brown noted. For those who park farther away, most yellow permits will still get them into those closer lots on weekdays before 7:30 a.m. or after 4 p.m., and all day on weekends.
 
A yearlong UCLA Recreation membership for faculty or staff runs $240. Members who currently use the Wooden center but wish to switch exclusively to KREC can arrange to have their gym access automatically transferred, allowing them to continue working out in Wooden until KREC’s scheduled opening later this month.
 
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To get on the road to fitness for the new year, see what fitness classes and programs are available on campus for you this quarter.
 
 
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