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Z-Center Opens Doors to Community

By Veena Ramaswamy

The Albert and Barrie Zesiger Sports & Fitness Center opened its doors for the first time on Monday Sept. 23 to a “really good turnout,” said Assistant Department Head for Facilities and Operations Daniel J. Martin.

“We’re very pleased with it being a day off,” he said. “As a result we have seen so many students coming in.”

“It’s been really exciting,” said Assistant Fitness Director of Operations Chuck Rainey. “We have a lot more people than we thought we’d get on the first day.”

MIT gladly accepts new center

Students and MIT staff embraced Monday’s opening with enthusiasm.

“It’s a big improvement. I’m glad that they actually did something like this for the $40K we’re spending a year,” said Rafiq Z. Dhanani ’05.

Michelle C. Verticchio ’02, an assistant field hockey coach at MIT, is also very pleased with the facilities available at the new sports center.

“I think it’s amazing that MIT is providing students with these facilities,” Verticchio said. “The facilities before this were not sufficient. But [the Zesiger Center] is unbelievable, with all of its state of the art equipment,” she added.

Students with their ID cards can gain access to the center’s 12,000-square foot fitness center, the two pools, the six squash courts, the indoor track, and the multi-activity court for activities such as basketball and volleyball, free of charge.

“This pool is great, it’s huge and it’s clean. It’s much better than the alumni pool,” said Krzysztof J. Fidkowski ’03.

“I’m really glad that [the Zesiger center] is open for the last year that I’m here as an undergrad,” Fidkowski said.

New services to be added soon

Additional services such as personal trainers are soon to be added. Personal trainers will be available starting Oct. 7, for an additional cost.

All activity spaces were officially complete and ready for use by yesterday, though some construction workers were still finishing the Rockwell Gymnasium basketball courts.

The planned sports bar and juice bar for the facilities are projected to be complete “definitely sometime this fall,” Martin said.

“We’re looking at expanding our services as we go,” Rainey said.

The Zesiger Center is run by the Health Fitness Corporation, which according to Martin also manages over 180 other facilities.

The Zesiger Center will also welcome student employment. “We always try to employ students first and get others to assist after that. We still have employment opportunities for undergrad and grad students,” Martin said.

Martin hopes that many more students will become involved the center’s activities and facilities.

“We hope we can really have the students embrace this building to help balance out their lives,” Martin said.

The center is opened from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday. Additional information on the Zesiger Center can be found at or at 617-452-3690.