Towers Hall opens new gym for its residents

What was once a one mile walk is now a convenient elevator ride for Towers residents. 

Towers Hall, the seven-floor housing structure on campus, has opened its own gym — which is now open exclusively to Towers Hall residents. 

Towers Hall is a co-ed living space that offers other amenities such as a sand volleyball court, a basketball court, a grill and a piano. This is the closest residential housing on campus to downtown Boise and in a prime location along the greenbelt, like many other Boise State dorms.   

The new weight room is located on the first floor of the dormitory and features free weights, two pelotons, two treadmills, cable machines, leg machines and a Smith machine. 

The executive director of Housing and Residence Life, Lynda Tieck, and Towers Hall resident director, Alex Call, presented the grand opening of the gym on Tuesday, Jan. 16.

“We wanted to encourage community and accessibility,” Tieck said. “We identified that if students are new to exercising, that they would feel comfortable here. I want these residents to feel special.”

Towers Hall is the furthest residential building from central campus, nearly a mile away from the Boise State Recreational Center (Rec) and approximately a 20 minute walk. When considering the winter and cold weather, this can be a burden for residents. 

Shelby Hanson, a freshman Towers resident with an undeclared major and earning a certificate in Sport Coaching, expressed the simplicity the gym will bring to her daily routine. 

“The Rec is 20 minutes away. Although it is a good warm up, if I want to get a good workout in, it’s going to take two hours of my day,” Hanson said. “As a busy student, I don’t have that time. The Towers gym will have a positive impact on my mental and physical health.” 

These restrictions have made it difficult for residents to develop a consistent routine. 

“In the winter, it’s not light until 8 a.m. and it gets dark around 5 p.m.,” Tieck said. “It is a challenge for students to feel comfortable getting over to the other side of campus in workout clothes. Driving and parking at the Rec is not ideal either.”

The motivation behind the project came when Tieck met with Jason Hermes of Campus Recreation. 

“The space is great for a weight room,” Tieck said. “It was previously a meeting space that was under-utilized.” 

The best interest of the students was at the forefront of decision making when choosing the arrangement and choice of gym equipment. Pelotons and treadmills are paired, making it possible to have a workout partner, if desired. 

“We made a specific plan for this space,” Tieck said. “Gym Outfitters came to scope it out, we took measurements and residents can ultimately get a full body workout. The nice thing about gym equipment is that if it isn’t successful, we can move it somewhere else. It’s not a permanent change, so if it doesn’t work here we can try it in a different community.”

The weight room is now open from 9 a.m. to midnight every day of the week, and is open exclusively to Towers residents. 

“I am looking forward to using the Peloton. I’ve never used one so it will be fun to try,” said Hanson. “I’m also really excited to squat, that’s my favorite exercise. Having the squat rack is a great addition.”

Despite its location on campus, residents of this hall are part of a close and welcoming community.  

“We do surveys and consistently Towers end up being our highest level of satisfaction among  residents. I think part of the unique fit of Towers is because people are kind of limited in their access initially,” Colton Manley, Boise State area coordinator said. “There ends up being a strong community that’s built there, which is really cool to see. A lot of people end up being satisfied and happy with the friends and the connections that they make on that front.” 

The weight room is now open from 9 a.m. to midnight every day of the week.

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