The HPE Center helps lead a healthy life.

Sophomores Leobardo Goana and Eric McKnight often can be found in The Joseph Z. & Louise H. Ornelas Health & Physical Education Center.

They use the weight room and other facilities in the two-story gymnasium complex on the east side of the campus.

“Working out can be very addicting,” said Gaona, taking a break during a recent workout session. “Being fit is in style now so why wouldn’t I take advantage of the HPE?”

Brownlee agreed that the HPE is a great place to exercise.

“You’re working out in a very friendly environment and that makes it more fun,” Brownlee said.

McKnight quickly added, “When I started working out here, I never thought that I would keep on coming but now I can’t stop! Another great thing about working out at the HPE is that it’s free.”

Since it’s founding in 1986, the HPE has fulfilled a mission of helping students achieve a healthier lifestyle by providing a place for them to engage in exercise and physical activities.

The center houses an indoor track on the second floor that overlooks the entire gym. The two weight rooms are furnished with new Legend Fitness equipment and have rubber floors. Four large racquetball courts are located on the first floor of the gym. The indoor basketball court is one of the main attractions. It holds six basketball nets and bleachers. A cardio room on the second floor of the facility has more than 20 pieces of equipment for a full cardio workout. The room also has a large television in front.

The aquatic center attracts not only stu­dents, but the public as well. It is open Monday through Friday for laps, 6-7:50 a.m. and 11-12:50 p.m. On Mondays and Wednesdays, the pool is also open for laps at 8-8:50 p.m.

Swimming caps are required for shoulder-length or longer hair. Lifeguards are on duty at all times. The aquatic center also has 28 show­ers and a room filled with lockers for personal belongings.

“Students should take advantage of the HPE Center,” said Robert Mahon, Ornelas HPE center director. “There’s a variety of equip­ment to accommodate everyone. By using the gym, students benefit health wise. They keep in shape.”

Allison Parks, HPE student worker and a sophomore says, “I enjoy working at the HPE Center. It’s a very laid-back environment and convenient to students. The HPE is bettering your way of life.”

In order to attract students, TJC has made some changes to the gymnasium. Since adding new equipment to the facility, staff says they have seen an increase in use. Renovations in­clude new weight and cardio equipment, aquat­ic center changes and renovated wooden floor for the basketball court.

“The HPE is a very used facility. All athletes workout here because of the weight rooms,” Mahon said. Besides being a workout center, the HPE is also home to the Apache Band, Apache Belles and Dance department. It served as the volleyball team’s home gym during the 2010 season when Wagstaff Gymnasium was undergoing repairs.

The gymnasium complex is open seven days a week daily; hours vary. Lanyards are re­quired in order to workout at the gym. For more information about the facility, contact the front desk of the Ornelas HPE Center. For additional information and how to reach the HPE Center please call the Front Desk – (903) 510-2555.

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