Coast Mountain College (CMTN) officially unveiled its new $1.3 million health and wellness centre Friday.
The 2,877 sq. ft centre is a renovation of the existing fitness facility attached to the Waap Amgam (House of Cedar) trades building. The open-concept space is equipped with cardio machines and weights with a separate studio room for group activities like yoga, aerobics, Zumba and spin classes.
Students and staff will be able to swipe in and out of the gym for free using a card provided by the college. There are two ongoing classes including yoga and that are currently available to the public, says Sarah Zimmerman, CMTN director of communications.
“This first year will be a test to see what kind of demand there is for what programs, and in the meantime, we’ll be running programs and engaging with instructors to offer programming to people in the public as well,” Zimmerman says.
“If people are interested in coming to use the facility we invite them to get in contact with us and we’ll figure out what that access looks like. We’re still in the early stages.”
To fund the project, the CMTN Foundation has created a multi-year internal funding source raising $950,000. The Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) also approved $250,000 in funding for the new centre.
The college’s application to NDIT highlighted the job opportunities created during and after construction of the health and wellness centre, Zimmerman says. “We have maintenance, we have instructors that will be teaching, we’ll be offering smoothies in the cafe, so it creates jobs in a way too.”
The goal is to also have the centre become a community asset open to Terrace residents as well.
“We don’t know what the demand is going to be like, we certainly don’t want to take business from other gyms. The primary goal is our students,” Zimmerman says. “That was the real impetus for this, was to provide a fitness centre for our students because we know if our students have healthy bodies, they’ve got healthier minds and they’re able to better focus on their studies.”
Five years ago when Zimmerman first started at CMTN, the gym was a small room with mismatched weights and around two cardio machines, she says.
“We were trying our best at the time to offer something to our students, and so thanks to the donation from NDIT and the work from the foundation, we’ve been able to come up with a fitness centre that I think everyone is super proud of.”
The Mayor of Terrace Carol Leclerc, who is also the newly acclaimed director at large for the NDIT board, and outgoing president and CEO Ken Burt were there for the opening.
“This was my goal to do this before I left, and I’m really annoyed that you decided to open it the day I leave,” Burt joked to a room full of staff and students. “Really high-end equipment, I am so happy that this will be used for years to come.”