Million-dollar Fitness Center makes exercising fun and convenient

A Palo Alto student works out in the new Fitness Center. Photo by Zachary Mastroianni.
A Palo Alto student works out in the new Fitness Center. Photo by Zachary Mastroianni.

By Ronald Silva, Pulse staff writer

Palo Alto’s Aquatic Center/Gymnasium is now home to a 5,000 square foot, $1.4 million Fitness Center that had its grand opening on Sept. 4.  Students, staff and faculty were introduced to its exercise equipment, which includes a variety of cardio and strength-training machines.

Sergio Rivera, Facilities superintendent at Palo Alto College, said the Fitness Center was delivered well under budget and ahead of schedule.

A Palo Alto student works out in the new Fitness Center. Photo by Zachary Mastroianni.
A Palo Alto student works out in the new Fitness Center. Photo by Zachary Mastroianni.

“The Fitness Center project was originally scheduled to take 12 months, and we completed it in nine months. Also, we stayed $200,000 under budget,” he said.

Laura C. Garza, program supervisor of the PAC Campus Recreation Center, said their mission is to provide faculty, staff and students with a fun and positive environment.

“We give them the opportunity to live a healthier lifestyle with state-of-the art equipment at our brand new facility,” Garza said.

The Fitness Center is equipped with the latest Matrix commercial equipment, including cardio, elliptical and treadmill machines.

The facility also includes a full-sized basketball court with unlimited use during the hours of operation for students, staff and faculty with a valid Alamo College ID.  The Fitness Center and basketball court hours are Mondays through Fridays from 7:15 a.m. to 9 a.m. and Mondays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Mondays through Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Membership is currently only available to students, staff and faculty of the Alamo Colleges. A variety of intramural sports are also being offered this fall semester.

A Palo Alto student works out in the new Fitness Center. Photo by Zachary Mastroianni.
A Palo Alto student works out in the new Fitness Center. Photo by Zachary Mastroianni.

Phillip Oberst, a clerk in the Fitness Center who is also a Student Government Association senator, said that he hopes more clubs and organizations on campus will form teams to compete against each other during the intramural season.

According to Fitness Center Clerk Belinda Guajardo, backpacks are not allowed. Lockers, however, are provided free to students, faculty and staff for the entire semester with a valid ID. You must bring your own lock.

“This safety step allows us to safeguard their personal belongings,” Guajardo said.

A Palo Alto student works out in the new Fitness Center. Photo by Zachary Mastroianni.
SGA President Sandra Piñedo works out in the new Fitness Center. Photo by Zachary Mastroianni.

Sandra Piñedo, president of Student Government Association, said, “The fact that the Fitness Center is free saves students money by not having to pay the expensive monthly membership fees required by other commercial gyms.”

For more information, go to Palo Alto College’s website or contact Laura Garza at (210) 486-3806.