Blue Devil Fitness Center dedicated

Celebrating the ribbon-cutting for the new Blue Devil Fitness Center and “Fitness Friday” at SUNY Fredonia, President Virginia S. Horvath told the large crowd at the new facility in Dods Hall, “We are stronger if we are fit in every way.”

Reflecting also on the university’s commitment to sustainability, Horvath said the concept includes the “way each (person) sustains themselves,” and that the new center draws students into an “inviting and exciting place.” She also remembered as a young person taking very seriously exercises in school as part of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and said she hoped the new fitness center would “inspire us all.”

Among the speakers were state Sen. Catharine Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell. Young called returning to campus, “a real trip down memory lane for me,” noting recent construction projects she has been involved with including the new Science Center and Campus and Community Children’s Center, and celebrating what she called the new “facility of fitness.”

Goodell came equipped for the occasion, bringing along climbing ropes he had used climbing in the Berkshires as a college student. He said the new center reflects Fredonia’s commitment to the development of the “whole student” desired by employers and communities. Goodell noted that fitness is more than a personal commitment, but reflects a “focus of where we want to be and the energy to get there,” adding, “What a great addition to the Fredonia experience.”

Vice President for Student Affairs David Herman recognized and thanked the many people involved in planning and constructing the facility, particularly the students, who approved the use of student funds to operate the facility. Varsity student-athletes and student leaders from the Student Association including Madison Brown of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and Student Association President Erin Dorozynski took part in the planning stages alongside JCJ Architecture, Facilities Planning, and Department of Athletics and Recreation staff members. Dr. Herman also recognized the new director of the center, Jason Bishoff, a Fredonia alumnus, and representatives from Resetarits Construction, builders of the facility.

With the ceremonial cutting of a string of exercise bands instead of the traditional ribbon the new center was opened.

The fitness center is a 9,000 square foot facility in the space which once housed the Dods Hall swimming pool. It consists of a two-sided rock climbing wall with auto-belay and 107 pieces of new equipment – 18 treadmills, 10 cross trainers, 25 elliptical machines, five adaptive motion trainers, four recumbent bikes, four upright bikes, one upper body ergometer, 25 selecterized weight machines, one Smith machine, eight adjustable benches, three abdominal benches, three heavy duty power racks with platforms, plus over 6,500 pounds of free weights. There are also 10 medicine balls, 10 exercise balls, 30 resistance bands, and 20 work-out mats.

University officials are confident the long-awaited addition will enhance campus life and help with recruitment across all student populations.

Fredonia State University Director of Athletics Greg Prechtl expressed his pleasure with the final design and functionality of the new Blue Devil Fitness Center, which will operate under the direction of Bishoff. In his most recent position, Bishoff served as fitness director for the City of Tallmadge (Ohio) Recreation Department.

, a 105,000-square foot facility with over 5,000 members. He holds a bachelor of science degree in sports management and exercise science from Fredonia State, and a master of arts degree in exercise, leisure and sport from Kent State University.

“In addition to exceptional credentials and experience,” Prechtl said, “Jason has a management style that will fit very nicely on this campus. I expect he will provide the kind of outstanding leadership that our students have come to expect and deserve.”

Bishoff said he expects the Blue Devil Fitness Center to “serve as a hub for healthy socializing and campus fun.”

“From my perspective,” he said, “this facility is truly the ‘missing piece’ on an extremely well-planned campus. I am thrilled to see the energy and excitement that the new fitness center has brought to the student body. The overwhelming response thus far is extremely gratifying.”