More students opt to exercise off campus at community center

Hannah Nusser and Hannah Nusser

Students are taking advantage of working out off campus at the Bowling Green Community Center.

Center Fitness Specialist Diana Beck said she’s noticed an increase in the center’s popularity with the University crowd the past few years.

“I think it took us so long to get our name out there but now people are slowly learning about [the Community Center] … it seems once the students get over here they’re very pleased with it,” Beck said.

Just a few miles from campus, at 1245 W. Newton Road, the Bowling Green Community Center offers amenities for the fitness-seeking student and, for some, a place to work or fulfill a practicum requirement.

Senior Suzanna Tyrrell is a yoga instructor at the Community Center and said she prefers the drive to exercise at the Community Center over the walk to the Student Recreation Center.

“I enjoy going to the Community Center more because you never have to wait for equipment,” she said. “It’s cleaner, I feel, and there’s always someone on staff making sure you know how to use the equipment. It’s more personal.”

The Community Center provides patrons a comfortable atmosphere, Tyrrell said, not at all invasive or self-conscious.

“[At the Rec] you feel like everyone’s watching you and staring at you, but at the Community Center, it doesn’t,” she said. “It’s not what it’s about; you know people are just trying to be healthy.”

The Community Center can also serve as an employment outlet for students. University alumna Molly Bauman, 2008 master’s of recreation and leisure studies, said she worked at the Community Center on and off for three years, starting out doing her practicum there as an undergraduate. She had positive experiences both working for and working out at the center, she said.

“I absolutely loved it — all the employees I worked with and just how it’s run … I would go back there in a heartbeat,” she said.

Kevin Stanowick, 2008 exercise specialist graduate, did his practicum at the community center. He said the center could be a getaway for students who have the transportation means and are looking for help with their workout regimen. He said members can expect friendly attention from staff. 

“When I worked there … we paid special attention to all of our members on an individual approach, instead of just providing a place for people to come and exercise,” Stanowick said.

When it comes down to it, Stanowick said, choosing to exercise off campus depends on one’s personality, as some students can be intimidated by the rec on campus or are uncomfortable with how to approach their workout or the equipment.

“The Community Center is a lot less intimidating because you’re not dealing with other students or even your professors,” Stanowick said.

Trainers are on staff to assist patrons who are unfamiliar with the equipment or want a personalized physical fitness program.

Beck supervises the fitness area, works with patrons on their fitness goals and teaches classes. She said student members enjoy the fitness area because of the well-kept and frequently updated equipment.

“We do a good job of keeping new things out on the floor as far as cardio goes … we’re very open to suggestions and a lot of our purchases come from patrons’ suggestions,” she said.

Beck teaches spin classes, pilates, bootcamp and “piloga.” Pilates is a popular class with college-aged members, she said.

Various cardio equipment, weight machines and a 1/8 mile cushioned indoor track make up the 4,300 square foot fitness area, according to the Community Center Web site. A variety of fitness classes are offered throughout the day, including yoga, pilates, boot camp, cycling and “Zumba,” Latin dance moves thrown into an aerobic workout. The fitness area provides a number of machines for the cardio enthusiast: nine treadmills, seven ellipticals, arc trainers and stationary bikes. Broadcast Vision System is provided to watch TV or listen to radio while burning calories.

Bauman said the track is her favorite amenity because it’s non-banked, unlike the one on campus. She said the Community Center is smaller but cleaner than the Rec, and the many fitness programs and classes offer members a little something extra. 

“The different programs they have going on [are] always good motivation, and it’s kind of nice to just get away from the community of students,” Bauman said.

For those looking to pump some iron, numerous weight machines are waiting to help gym junkies sculpt their upper and lower body, chest, back and abs. The gymnasium is outfitted with 12 basketball hoops and four volleyball nets.

In her time at the Community Center, Bauman said she noticed more faculty members venturing off campus to workout than students. While the rec is free to students and faculty, Bauman said Community Center pass prices are reasonable compared to other gyms in town.

Passes can be purchased for a 12-month period, and are cheaper for Bowling Green residents. Off Peak passes are cheaper. They allow members to use the facility between 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays. Off Peak passes are $150 for residents and $200 for non-residents. A 12-month payment plan is also offered.

Facilities coordinator Tim Stubbs said a one-day pass can be granted to any first-time visitor who wants to check out what the Community Center has to offer.


For more information head to (click on Community Center).


Monday-Friday: 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Saturday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Off peak hours:

Monday-Saturday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Twelve-month Passes:

Individual Resident $200 Non-resident $350

Family Resident $350; Non-Resident $500

Twelve-Month Off Peak Passes:

Resident $150; Non-Resident $200