Core Performance Center Up & Running
How will the new fitness center fit in to SMC? From the student parking lot on Pico Boulevard, to the library near Pearl Street, to the bleachers of the Santa Monica College field, the new and improved Core Performance Center building stands tall for all to see.
Department Chair of Kinesiology and Athletics, Elaine Roque, was glad to see the new Core Performance Center open this semester. “The students and staff have waited too long for this,” says Roque.
While the new Core Performance Center has been a blessing for some staff and students, others are disappointed that not every student may use the new facility. "I get this question asked 100 times a day,” says Alreona Bizzaron, a fitness center staff member who has worked for over a year in the athletics department. “In order for students to use any of the new rooms they have to be enrolled in a class that is in the new building, because of liability issues,” said Bizzaron.
This new building is three-stories tall with each floor serving its own purpose. The first floor has two classrooms built-in, along with a "Lost and Found." The second floor is for fitness, which includes kickboxing and yoga classes. Finally, the third floor is dedicated to the dance department. This 63,500 square feet giant is the latest of the new additions at SMC. Construction took around two years to complete, yet the overall project still has more work to be done. “I’d like to thank the faculty and staff who worked with us for several years in the planning of the building," said Greg Brown, manager of facilities at SMC. "I think the finished building exceeded everyone’s expectations,” said Brown. The funding for these projects came from each of two City of Santa Monica and Malibu bond measures, S and AA, approved by voters in 2004 and 2008.
A sense of curiousness surrounds the new building on campus. For those who have been here during previous semesters, it has been talked about constantly -- especially in the Department of Athletics, Kinesiology, and Dance. The outside of the building plays into the look of other buildings on campus. They all have a similar grey tone to them, all having a similar grey tone. But something about this building makes it stand out. Once you go inside, the building proves itself worthy of all the speculation it has generated, as every inch of it will have you amazed. Perhaps that is how Gensler Architects and the contractor, Bernards, meant it to be. Some of their recognizable work includes Six Flags Magic Mountain, the Rose Bowl Stadium, and Facebook's headquarters. Bernards is also working on the new building under construction at SMC's Performing Arts Campus, along with the new IT building located near Pearl St.
Each floor has its own distinct and charming characteristics. The first floor has lime green walls, with a ceiling and tiled floor covered in white. Classrooms are located on the left side of the wall, while the right side has a television as well as a see-through window that shows you the inner workings of the building. It includes a central plant facility, built to provide chilled water to multiple buildings around the campus. A student may think that the first floor is the layout of what each floor will look like, but the second floor will leave you even more in awe.
The second floor is designed with a calming orange color that lures you into different rooms, each with their own set of surprises. From one end of the hallway to the other, transparent glass allows you to see into the different fitness rooms, each with state-of-the-art equipment inside that includes brand new weights, ellipticals, exercise balls, treadmills, and more. In addition to new equipment, the new gym also has speakers and smart TV's. In one room there is even a rock climbing wall awaiting its opening.
Alreona Bizzaron is often at the desk when entering the main fitness room on the second floor, welcoming you into the center and its splendid view. One window oversees the quad. Another shadows the field and the Santa Monica skies. “We’re all learning how to use the new equipment,” says Bizzaron, who says that most of the equipment was donated, with the exception of a few bikes. New additions include a room dedicated to kickboxing, with several kicking bags ready for use. The yoga room has a nice view of the field that allows the warm sun to peek into your daily stretch. The top floor is where the world of movement accompanied by a sense of freedom dwells. Its hallway is covered in a dynamic crimson-red -- like a firetruck. A big, long, red bench is in the hallway for students to sit on as they wait for their classes to start, or to simply give their dancing feet a break. Each dance hall has enough space for every dancer to get their moves going, as mirrors all around reflect their images.
Frank Woo, a dance major at SMC, was one of the "lucky first" to try the new rooms out. “Amazing view up there while you’re dancing... you get a big inspiration while you're dancing,” said Woo.
For now though, being enrolled in a dance, yoga, or kinesiology class is the only way to use these new services. All remaining SMC students can do little more than catch a glimpse of this state of the art building from the outside.