Athletics News

Lerner Health and Wellness Center re-opens Saturday

The Lerner Health & Wellness Center will re-open on Saturday following a week of maintenance in preperation of the upcoming school year.

Aug. 26, 2011

WASHINGTON- The Lerner Health and Wellness Center re-opens Saturday after a weeklong sprucing up to get the 10-year-old facility ready for another busy year.

With 1,700 to 1,800 people using the center daily on average during the school year, the center definitely gets a workout. So the week before classes begin in August is a good time for some downtime, to do the cleaning and maintenance necessary to keep the center in top-notch shape, said Andre Julien, assistant athletic director, health and wellness.

That week also is a good time to train the 250 students who work in the center. They will spend three days training on everything from conflict resolution to customer service to handling emergencies.

"It's pretty intense," Julien said.

This is the third year in a row that the Lerner Health and Wellness Center has been closed for maintenance. In addition to a top-to-bottom cleaning, staff focuses on a new area to maintain or upgrade, Julien said.

This year, the cardiovascular equipment is being replaced by a new line of equipment that is less expensive but better, according to Julien. New stationary bicycles, treadmills and elliptical machines are on the floor or on the way. These machines are heavily used, Julien said, so GW always chooses top-of-the-line commercial-grade equipment.

The wooden floors on the basketball, racquetball and squash courts and the group fitness studios also have been resurfaced. Julien also hopes to have the filtration system in the swimming pool replaced during the Thanksgiving break.

Repairs also were done in the men's and women's locker rooms, particularly to improve water pressure in the showers. Many areas were painted and many chipped and broken tiles replaced.

"There are a ton of things to get done in the course of a week," Julien said.

The 189,000-square-foot center also gets a thorough cleaning, from high dusting to scrubbing down the walls of the racquet sport courts.

"We do as much cleaning as possible," Julien said.

The center is available for use by students, faculty and staff. It has two gyms with two basketball courts each. Volleyball and badminton can be played on all courts, while two of the courts can be used for indoor soccer and indoor hockey.

The center also has a three-lane suspended jogging track overlooking the third floor gym. A three-lane lap pool supports open swim and aquaerobics.

There also is a racquetball suite with four racquetball courts and two large squash suites with six squash courts. All suites feature viewing areas. The varsity squash program is housed in the Health and Wellness centers and draws hundreds of spectators to their home matches on the Matthew J. Grossman Squash Courts.

The fitness center includes large free weights, fitness, wellness and cardiovascular fitness areas complete with sound and video systems. A large sub-dividable multipurpose room is used for aerobics, dance, martial arts and other functions.

The center also plays host to a variety of club and intramural sports.

"We do everything," Julien said, noting that no fitness club in Washington D.C. offers what the Lerner Health and Wellness Center provides.