By Dan Elliott
The sounds of drills and hammers are no strangers to the students and faculty occupying the Orion Hall, for the last few weeks have brought a major addition to the Midcoast Campus. This new supplement to campus life comes in the form of a new fitness room, currently being constructed in the once-vacant rooms situated behind the multipurpose room in the Orion building.
Bill Trufant, grounds and equipment supervisor at the Brunswick satellite campus, indicated that the renovation is nearly complete, with the lion’s share of the exercise equipment already on order. Professional painters came in on the 7th to put the finishing touches on the new fitness wing, and it can be assumed that it will be available for use before the end of the semester.
When asked if any impediments were encountered during the reconstruction, Bill stated that the project had no bumps in the road, so to speak. This is particularly remarkable considering the building was once part of an intricate military complex, which housed an assortment of large naval aircraft. Orion Hall, where the new studio is located, was formerly the officers’ quarters, and much of the old furniture and equipment is still in use by students housed in the converted dorms today.
In addition to his duties as grounds and equipment supervisor, Trufant is also a student at SMCC, majoring in the HVAC program. He has handled the day-to-day operations for the fitness-room project in addition to coordinating with the general contractors on bid for the job. Bill also worked with the contractors with the logistics regarding utilities maintenance, giving them access to the crawl space beneath Orion, where the old heating and plumbing are housed. Most of the work left to be done, he says, is mostly removing the piping and heating/ventilation equipment and replacing it with a new infrastructure.
While the exact contents of the fitness area are still unknown, Trufant has elaborated on a few key items of interest. The area, which will be open to any student or faculty member at SMCC (including students visiting from South Portland), will include the usual exercise staples of gym weights and treadmills. However, as astute readers might have pieced together, the new area of the Brunswick Campus will include private showers and baths, for those who are under a time crunch and cannot run home or back to their dorm to get freshened up.
While only taking up a small amount of space on campus, the fitness room signals the upward trend in both the expansion of and interest in the Midcoast satellite of SMCC. The students in Brunswick not only have a vested interest in their ongoing education, but their health and well-being additionally. Now with the new exercise area, they have access to both.