Coaches see need for a second weight room on campus


by Jessie ErnstStaff Writer

The goal of a larger, updated weight room seems like a dream for Simpson College, but it might soon become a reality. Coaches, athletes and non-athletes are having issues with the current weight room as the athletic program increases in size.

Does Simpson need to improve its weight room for the sake of its student body’s fitness? Most people around campus think so.

Athletic Director John Sirianni expresses vital needs for the weight room.

“It is very apparent that we need more space,” Sirianni said. “We need enough equipment to efficiently handle a work-out session.”

Justin Snyder, strength and conditioning coach, agrees the weight room is not meeting the spatial needs of students.

“In my estimation, we need a bigger athlete-only facility with updated equipment,” Snyder said. “This would allow our department to better train all of our 400-plus athletes to a higher level and with more efficiency and organization.”

Snyder also expresses an interest in a non-athlete facility. He cares about the needs of Simpson’s athletes and non-athletes in their quests to live healthy lifestyles.

“We need a separate and updated student fitness center,” Snyder said. “This would appeal to the needs of the student body with a more fitness-oriented, holistic approach.”

Offensive Line Coach Clint Head likes the idea of two separate weight rooms to meet the needs of all students. He finds two main issues with the current weight room. His first concern is that Simpson needs a larger facility. The other problem he sees deals with the equipment in the weight room.

“It is time to upgrade and update,” Head said. “The weight room is not bad now, but it could be better.”

Cross Country Coach Todd Deely agrees that Simpson is taking steps in the right direction by modernizing equipment and creating more space, but he has no imperative changes for the present weight room.

“We’re [cross country] very happy with our equipment and with our strength coaches,” Deely said. “For our purposes, I think the equipment is adequate.”

The prevalent issue that everyone seems to agree upon, though, is the need for more space. This deals with finding room for the number of athletes and non-athletes exercising at the same time.

“The athletic participation is overwhelming right now,” Snyder said. “Currently we need more space and more equipment to handle the number of athlete-training sessions we’re running.”

Junior basketball center Ashley Katch has personally experienced the lack of weight room space.

“The weight room is crowded, and it would be nice to have more space,” Katch said. “I can see how the weight room could be uncomfortable for non-athletes trying to work out.”

Sophomore Kim Troxel avidly utilizes the weight room, although she is not an athlete. She agrees that the weight room can become uncomfortable at times.

“It is really hard to work out when there is an athletic session going on,” Troxel said. “There just isn’t enough room for everyone to be there at the same time.”

All students would benefit from the plan of separate weight rooms. Sirianni acknowledges that his effort is to make a weight room comfortable for everyone.

“One of our goals is to provide the opportunity so our athletes can be the best they can be,” Sirianni said. “Right now though, we’re strictly in the planning and investigating stages of getting this completed.”