students cycling

Fall 2019 — A ribbon-cutting ceremony on Dec. 3 will officially open two functional training studios and one indoor cycling studio at Dixon Recreation Center, which have been under construction since June of this year. Initiated by a directive from the ASOSU Student Fees Committee to spend down the balance in building reserves, this renovation of racquetball courts is one of several recent projects executed to improve student access and usability for Oregon State University’s campus recreation spaces.

student in newly renovated Dixon Recreation Center space

A student works out in the functional training studio, one of three new spaces opened in the Dixon Recreation Center.

Professional guidelines for campus recreation facilities recommend 10 square feet of indoor recreation space per student. The limited 150,000 square feet in Dixon Recreation Center requires staff to be strategic about allocating space for the more than 24,000 students at the Corvallis campus. Not only does this renovation repurpose one of the least-used areas to address overcrowded weight rooms, but its central location in the facility grants easy access and it is designed to consider future evolution.

“This is my first routine in the new studio,” said Bianka Diaz Gaitan, an industrial engineering student who accessed the space after the Nov. 14 soft opening. “Usually, the big weight room is crowded; now we have another option and it works perfectly. As a racquetball court, this space was often empty. This seems a better way to use it.”

Functional fitness is a type of weight training that employs common movements used to navigate at home, work and leisure activity. The first evolution of this growing practice was marked by the 2018 equipment installation in McAlexander Fieldhouse. This renovation further expands options for functional fitness and additionally offers combative training and Olympic lifting. Special lighting, sound and airflow in the indoor cycling studio offer greater comfort and creativity in indoor-cycling programming, and free up other space for mind-body programming.

“It’s a game changer,” said Megan Craig, an undergraduate kinesiology student who expects to graduate in 2022. “The lights and energy are completely different — like Soul Cycle 2.1. The turnout is already five times what it was, and people keep looking in from the hallway, intrigued.”