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Ornelas Health and Physical Education Center open on a limited basis this fall

The Ornelas Health and Physical Education Center is open to students and faculty and staff this fall on a limited basis. The OHPE is currently open Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Heath Stoner, director of the OHPE, discusses what is currently available to students, faculty and staff. These include:

The upstairs and downstairs weight rooms

Photo by Chris Swann

The downstairs weight room in the OHPE includes some of the facility’s heavy-weight equipment. “That’s our heavy room, heavy machines, heavy racks heavy leg press,” Stoner said. The upstairs weight room is also available for use.

The upstairs cardio room

The upstairs cardio room includes most of the facility’s cardiovascular equipment. This room includes equipment like ellipticals, treadmills, stair steppers, bicycles and rowing machines. 

The upstairs workout room

In the upstairs workout room, OHPE offers a variety of equipment. “We have our upstairs, exercise room, stability balls, yoga mats, medicine balls, bars, building core work,” Stoner said.

The upstairs track

The OHPE provides students with an upstairs track that has been specifically created to where one mile equals 10 laps on the track. 

Ping pong room

The ping pong room is located on the lower level of the OHPE. There are two ping pong tables provided for the use of students. 

New virtual reality room

“We also have a downstairs virtual reality room that’s brand new. That is for the intramural department, but, students are able to participate in the virtual reality,” Stoner said. To find out more about the virtual reality room, check with the OHPE for details. 

Front and back lobby

“Our indoor lobby is when students first arrive in and kind of our back lobby. Those have two computer monitors that our students are able to play video game consoles,” Stoner said. They can both be used during operating hours of the OHPE.

Locker rooms 

The OHPE also provides two locker rooms. These can be used to take showers. 

The OHPE is free to all students. All you need is your student ID to enter. 

In the fall 2020 semester and spring 2021 semesters, the OHPE remained closed to students for all forms of recreational use to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

According to, “Because instruction is the core of our mission at TJC, we take numerous precautions and a certain degree of risk for instruction, but we cannot take the risk for recreational activities during this health crisis.”

For some students, the OHPE played a large impact in their life. Now that it is open again they are able to go back to their normal routine.

“For me personally, working out and like lifting weights is like my form of therapy or escape. It’s really imperative for, like, my state of being. And so not having it last year was kind of stressful in a way. But having it open now has been really helpful,” Sophomore, Tyler Hageman said.

The OHPE is free to all students. To enter students must provide a valid TJC ID. 

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