The typical person walking into the Ornelas Health and Physical Education building, a person is ready to make a change for their health. Their head is down, face is full of determination and they are dressed in clothes they would normally not wear out in public.
Students walk up the stairs, in the doors, scan their student IDs and prepare themselves to submit to the torturous routine in order to get their body into shape, until they walk into the weight room. Standing in the doorway of the weight room, weights are all over the floor, the bars for bench press and curls are rusted and scattered, the Nautilus machines squeak from neglect. The last new pieces of equipment were the addition of Nautilus Nitro strength training machines that were added more than six years ago. The majority of the free weights look as if they have been there since 1986 when the center was built.
The downstairs weight room is a converted racquetball court; the remnants of the court are on the ceilings and walls in the form of oval shaped dark spots from impact of blue rubber balls. The room was stuffed with the oldest of the equipment making it look like a time portal to a mid-80s weight training facility.
The lower level has five racquetball courts, the five lane pool, a room that holds two basketball courts, two large dance studios and men and women’s locker rooms. The racquetball courts are a classy touch to the college training center. They can be a retreat from the weight and aerobic rooms, and provide racquetball enthusiasts with a clean, air-conditioned place to practice their sport, but is the college’s demand for a better weight-training environment silenced by the cries for more racquetball?
Having the center on campus is something prospective students should consider when coming to school at TJC. If based solely on the condition of the center, the population of the school might not be breaking records.
The pool is one of two indoor facilities in Tyler. Besides the occasional spike in chlorine levels, it is a nice feature of the center. The pool is not being utilized to its complete potential. But the main purpose for a pool of its design is for lap swim. The hours for lap swim are inconvenient for most. In order to get a lane to swim in, the swimmer has to get there on Monday through Friday between the hours of 6-7:50 a.m. or 11 a.m.-12:50 p.m., on Monday and Wednesday from 8 p.m.-8:50 p.m. The rest of the time, the pool is being used for recreational swim for two hours and 40 minutes during the week and four hours on the weekend.
If the center fees were not included in tuition, students might not pay to use the facilities.