Wittenberg Unveils New Athletic Facility In HPER Center Complex

Fitness Center
Fitness Center

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — The Bob Rosencrans Hall of Honor Fitness Center was officially unveiled to the Wittenberg community on Aug. 1 after months of anticipation. The new facility is the latest addition to the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Center (HPER Center), part of a $2 million improvement project in and around Wittenberg’s athletic complex.

The 4,622 square-foot-space was added to the front of the HPER Center after the university’s Board of Directors approved the $750,000 project in late January. Thomas & Marker Construction of Bellefontaine along with Beasley Architect and Design, also of Bellefontaine, managed the project.

The new facility is equipped with treadmills, elliptical machines, stationary exercise bikes, Stairmasters and a number of strength-training machines. In addition to the athletic equipment, the fitness center includes six TVs mounted on the wall in front of the cardiovascular machines, which students can also hear using selected frequencies via their portable listening devices while working out. Brenda Baume, coordinator of the HPER Center, said the equipment is state-of-the-art.

“We’re very excited,” Baume said. “This will be the nicest [fitness center] of any of the colleges in our conference.”

Construction of a room for the university’s three certified athletic trainers is in progress and will be located in the northeast corner of the facility. A small tiger-striped workout towel is handed to each guest upon entering. Along with the new fitness center, the existing weight room received renovations this summer, which included new floor surfaces, wall treatments and additional strength-training equipment.

“This was long overdue,” said Jake Kallgren, class of 2006, of Cincinnati, Ohio. “It’s nice to see everyone get excited about it.”

Matthew J. Smith, associate professor and chair of the communication department, said the new fitness center has already motivated him to exercise more.

“I’m like a kid in a candy store,” he said. “I’m blown away. This is just phenomenal. We’re definitely going to pique peoples’ interest when they come here for tours.”

The new fitness center is named in honor of Bob Rosencrans, class of 1958. Rosencrans was a three-year letterwinner on the football team and later served as the university’s assistant football coach, helping lead the Tigers to Division III national titles in ’73 and ’75. Rosencrans was also Wittenberg’s athletic director and served as the head golf, men’s swimming and diving and wrestling coach. In 2000, he was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Honor. Rosencrans died in 2003 of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. A dedication ceremony for the fitness center will take place during Homecoming & Reunion Weekend, Oct. 28-30.

Sarah Gearhart '06