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Facility Profile - October 2014

Fitness

A Fitter Student Body
Sun Devil Fitness Complexes Arizona State University - Various Campuses


In a move to position itself as one of the healthiest universities in America, Arizona State University (ASU) in 2013 completed an ambitious renovation of its Sun Devil Fitness Complexes across four separate campuses, including the introduction of Precor fitness equipment and software. This massive project constituted the largest-ever installation of Preva, the Precor networked fitness solution.

As a direct result of this undertaking, ASU drove up traffic across its fitness facilities by 15 to 20 percent. Moreover, the school was able to immediately begin launching university-wide promotional fitness programs across all four facilities, successfully enrolling more than 4,000 students in its first-ever such venture.

The Quest for Community

As recently as 2012, ASU's health and wellness facilities were too cramped and outdated to accommodate its approximately 72,000 students and almost 4,500 staff members. Space at ASU's Polytechnic and West campuses was especially scarce, with less than 10,000 square feet each. But even the facilities in downtown Phoenix and on the Tempe campus needed a major upgrade.

As a result, ASU sought to revitalize its health and wellness offerings, in conjunction with its new student housing expansion initiative. With the approval of the student government, ASU resolved to build or drastically renovate its four fitness complexes, hoping this would be the catalyst that transformed its geographically dispersed student body into a more united community.

"We wanted to encourage student health in a way that's in keeping with the spirit, pride and traditions of ASU, while hopefully offering a more satisfying campus life for our students," said Tamra Garstka, director of the Tempe Sun Devil Fitness complex. "We wanted something transparent and uniform, where students could go to any ASU Sun Devil Fitness Complex and get the same exact experience."

In doing so, ASU hoped to engender a greater sense of wellness within its academic community and ultimately position the school as among the healthiest in the country—no small goal, considering that college students do not always have the healthiest habits.

It was also critical for the university to find a fitness provider that offered exceedingly durable equipment in order to keep maintenance costs low.

ASU formed a committee to investigate possible fitness solutions. Committee members consulted with myriad vendors and their clients in the local Phoenix/Valley of the Sun area. "We talked to them about maintenance; we talked about their satisfaction levels. We did a lot of homework because we wanted to ensure that the endeavor resulted in a positive experience for students," added Garstka.

Precor has given ASU "cutting edge" cardio and strength training, durable, state-of-the-art and Internet-enabled machines. Preva software would enable ASU to connect all of its machines across the four campuses into one fitness network. Such integration would allow students enrolled in the program to track their workout data on each machine console or on their mobile devices, across multiple campuses. It would also enable them to register for university-wide promotions and fitness initiatives, receive fun motivational messages during their workouts and earn badges for reaching their workout goals (again, either on their individual machine consoles or their mobile devices).

"Obviously, students want the latest and greatest when it comes to fitness technology," said Garstka. "They expect modern fitness programs and services, and we need to keep up with the trends."