Renovations to the Gibson Health and P.E Center have scattered the Department of Exercise Science and Health all over campus this semester.
With construction underway for the new ACU Student Recreation and Wellness Center, faculty and students have had to readjust their schedules accordingly.
“We’ve been told for three semesters it may happen. For every semester, I have developed two schedules,” said Joe Bell, chair of the Department of Exercise Science and Health.
After building plans were approved in November, faculty members took quick action to move offices and plan for a new semester.
While some of the exercise science and health faculty have retained their offices in Gibson, others now reside on the first floor of the Administration Building, along with a few other buildings around campus.
Class space has also had to shift. Many exercise classes are utilizing alternative spaces around campus and around town, including the Powell Fitness Center, Bennett Gymnasium and the McMurry University pool.
Lorraine Wilson, associate professor of exercise science and health, is teaching 65 students in lifeguard training and scuba diving classes at McMurry. Wilson has adjusted her teaching schedule to accommodate the across-town commute, shortening the span of lifeguard training to six weeks and lengthening the scuba diving class trip to Balmorhea State Park from two and a half days to five days.
“The students have been very open to using McMurry’s pool,” Wilson said.
Wilson said the aquatic class adjustments are being taken one semester at a time, but McMurry is very open to hosting classes in the fall.
“They’ve been very welcoming,” Wilson said. The department has also created new classes. “Because we didn’t have a building we had to come up with innovative exercise classes,” said Laura Dillman, instructor of exercise science and health.
Dillman is teaching one section of Boot Camp, a new circuit-style endurance and strength building class offered in place of classes such as racquetball, badminton and Pickleball. Dillman said brainstorming for new classes coincides with the building of the SRWC.
“People are excited that there is going to be a new rec center and that there are going to be so many more opportunities,” Dillman said.
Students in the department have had mixed reactions to the schedule changes.
“Most people that I have talked to are pretty much frustrated. They are annoyed that the classes are so spread out,” said Colby Carr, sophomore exercise science and health promotions major from White Oak.
Laura Ash, sophomore exercise and sport science major from Sugarland, also said having class in the education building and the Don H. Morris Center has been an adjustment.
“I’m used to just walking around one building,” Ash said.
Both Carr and Ash agree the SRWC will be worth the inconvenience, however.
“I am very fired up about the new rec center,” Carr said. “Stuff like that is always worth the wait.”