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Weightroom Will Be Redone this Spring With Donated Funds

By Kyle Young
Staff Reporter

Slightly under $75,000 was recently spent on an order of new equipment to refurbish the weightroom in the Du Pont Athletic Center. The money was donated by Paul Rudovsky '66, a member of the MIT Corporation and the Department of Athletics visiting committee.

The new equipment may be installed in the weightroom as early as spring break, provided the room is ready, said Men's Head Track and Cross Country Coach Halston W. Taylor, who was in charge of ordering the new equipment

Weightroom must be refurbished

The weightroom will be refurnished before the new equipment is installed and "that means all of the aesthetics and practical enhancements will be in place prior to shipping," Taylor said.

If these refurbishments are not completed by spring break, the delivery will be postponed until the summer, so that there will be minimal disruption to the weightroom when classes are taught.

"We are replacing nearly all of the current equipment with newer, better, and in some cases, more practical equipment from Icarian, Body Master, and Hammer Strength. The actual weights will be from York," Taylor said.

Of the weight training equipment currently in the weightroom, the hip machine, two squat racks, two bench presses, a 30-degree inclined press, the dip bar, several of the smaller dumbbells, and possibly the three-pulley station will remain.

As for the cardiovascular equipment, the three bicycles and two steppers will be replaced by newer machines from Lifecycle, StarTrak, and Precor. After the replacements, there will be two bicycles, two steppers, one treadmill, and one cross-trainer.

Committee decides room's fate

"We came about this decision by my suggestions and then meeting with a committee," Taylor said. The committee included one undergraduate lifter, two graduate students, and one alumnus. One committee member, Co-chair of the GSC Committee on Athletics Andrew J. Rhomberg G, conducted an electronic survey of graduate students last semester.

After feedback from the committee, "I made some fine tuning based on negotiated cost, quality of manufacturer, size of unit, and actual experience on the machines," Taylor said.

The current weightroom setup already includes enough equipment for a balanced workout, but "the equipment in the room right now is extremely old," Taylor said. The goal was "to furnish the weightroom with more modern equipment found in commercial gyms" and "to get the best quality with the most functionality," Taylor said.

"It took about three months to finalize everything," Taylor said. Yet there are still open logistic details. Not only is the exact installation date of the new equipment not finalized, but there may not be enough room to store all of the planned pieces.

Old equipment may be auctioned

The fate of the old equipment is still undecided because additional gym space is quite scarce and unlikely to be available, Taylor said.

"According to current plans, some of the old equipment of the weightroom will go to dorms, and the rest may be auctioned off among the MIT community," Rhomberg said.

Patrons of the Du Pont weightroom generally welcome the new equipment but also also note that the current equipment is still functional and adequate.

Right now, "everything works, but it looks a bit ugly. I do not think additional machines are needed, but the existing machines should be improved," said Udo Schwarz, a visiting scholar.

"I think the variety here is pretty good. I do not think anything important is missing, in terms of major exercises," said Richard C. Bunt, a postdoctoral fellow in chemistry. "I think getting new equipment is a good idea. More space would be even better."