May 12, 2016

New Exercise Science Center a ‘Game-Changer’

By Office of Communications

Dr. Pamela Luster Conducts Ribbon Cutting at New Exercise Science Center

“This facility is a gamechanger,” Astian Agraz said as he eyed the rows of state-of-the-art fitness equipment on the first floor of San Diego Mesa College’s Exercise Science Center, which opened this spring.


Agraz, the linebacker and Mesa football team captain, wasn’t just talking about wins and losses.


“People are seeing this new facility and new equipment and starting to understand what exercise science is all about,” Astian said. “Our old facilities were beat up, so coming here, it’s a lot bigger, with new weights and new machines. This facility wins by a landslide.”


The building definitely has a wow factor.


A high-volume ceiling dominates the first floor lobby that leads into the weight training area. Aerobics and spin rooms are just around the corner. They open to an exterior exercise plaza, which leads to the athletic training room complete with a wet lab, treatment room, and offices. The second floor includes administration and faculty offices, a fitness lab and cardio area overlooking the equipment below, and an exterior exercise roof terrace.


The two-story, 27,200-square-foot steel structure is slated to be a geographic campus landmark, strategically situated on the new Sunrise Plaza entry and adjacent to the multi-use Mesa Commons that will open this fall.


“I believe that college athletics, physical activity, and exercise science play an important role in a wellrounded college education,” President Pamela T. Luster said at the facility’s grand opening event in April. Luster is also president of the California Community College Athletic Association, which oversees intercollegiate athletics across the state.


“It definitely will bring a long-awaited recruiting aspect for our coaches,” said Kevin Hazlett, department chair and assistant athletic director, who led the building’s design team along with instructor and former coach Manny Bautista.


With the addition of sand volleyball in 2015, Mesa College now has 21 athletic teams. All will use the facility for training and conditioning classes, which are open to all students.


Asked what he’s most proud of, Hazlett quickly answers, “The student reactions to the facility have been remarkable.”


Astian agrees. “The mindset of everyone has changed, especially among student athletes. Now that we have this facility, it’s really motivating us to work extra hard.”

Tags: Athletics, exercise science center, Exercise, Exercise Science