Facility Profile - November 2009
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Working It Out

Student Recreation Complex at Arizona State University in Tempe

By Jessica Royer Ocken

With these ideals in mind, ASU put the project out for bid. One of the responding firms was Advantage Fitness Products (AFP), a Culver City, Calif.-based company that can design, supply equipment for and then support recreation centers. "AFP did a walk through the building," Kipper said. "We needed wiring for cable, so they did a complete analysis to see what we had, what kind of wiring they'd need to run. They were pretty much only vendor that did that. Their bid was very thorough."

Along with their attention to detail, AFP offered a leasing option that appealed to ASU. "At end of three years, the equipment is not theirs, it's ours," explained AFP Key Account Manager Nels Nelson. "We wheel in new stuff and hopefully renew the contract." Rec centers that enter this sort of residual lease agreement with AFP also have the option to pay 20 percent of the equipment's purchase price and own everything at the end of their contract, "but three years is when those machines start to break, you're without a warranty, and now your equipment is three years old," noted Nelson.

A final component that sealed the deal for ASU? Certified equipment technicians at the ready. "We have a service department six miles from there," Nelson said. "One tech is ASU's tech, and he's there at least two days a week."

It took some time for the proposal to wend its way through ASU's administration for approval, but once it did, ASU signed a three-year contract with AFP to supply and maintain cardio equipment for the Student Recreation Complex in exchange for a monthly fee. With the agreement in place, AFP took a mere two weeks to transform the complex's cardio offerings, and they did so without ever closing the building.

The first week, AFP did the cable wiring necessary to support the new and improved cardio machines. Then the heavy lifting began. Timed to coordinate with an intersession break in July 2008, the transformation was completed in sections. "We did a part at a time, [each] in one day," Nelson said. One whole day was devoted to removing the 85 aging cardio machines. After that, "we added software components, computers and equipment in five days," Nelson added. "It was fun to see things transform like that. It's pretty cool."