The St Mary’s College weight room, better known as the Power Plant, has undergone major changes in the past 7 months to bring students a better work out environment. From the flooring to the staff members, the Power Plant has experienced a full makeover.
In December of 2012, the 3000 square-foot space was flooded by a heavy rain storm which caused the facility to close. There were no concrete plans on fixing the weight room, so students and staff members got together and voiced their concerns. Shortly after the student movement, the clean-up began and the Power Plant was able to reopen.
New flooring and equipment has been installed making the Power Plant one-hundred percent functional. The new equipment brings an elevated look to the Power Plant as well as providing more options for weight lifters. “Four new platform racks have been added to the facility. This allows me to be able to do even more exercises with the student-athletes,” says current strength and conditioning coach Jon Gregory. The platforms consist of a squatting station with level flooring for safety and new benches used for bench pressing. Each rack provides ample space for weights to be stored. A space in between the racks is dedicated to an exercise called TRX. TRX is a new exercise technique that requires floor space and only uses the body weight of the operator.
Along with strength coaches, students have noticed the positive changes in the Power Plant and are excited to utilize the new equipment and space. “The brand new squatting stations make it easier to adjust the weights and maneuver around equipment” said SMC lacrosse player Krista Morgan, “The new layout and weight racks make it easier for more people to be in the weight room.” Before the Power Plant changes, students were forced to do ab exercises on the hard floor, “Now there is about a 6×10 foot clear platform that is for core exercises” she stated. While many changes to the Power Plant bring positivity, there still are negatives that can be addressed. “Looking at the bigger picture, the Power Plant is not big enough for teams and students to be able to accomplish their fitness goals at the same time. Hopefully SMC will be able to provide a larger facility in the future” indicated Morgan.
The Power Plant faced more negatives this semester when the two head strength coaches moved on to other jobs and institutions. St Mary’s has been utilizing their resources by having graduate students use their skills to build stronger student-athletes. “Currently there are 4 graduate students, 3 of which are interns” Gregory continued, “the graduate students bring a really positive element to the power plant. Everyone is eager to help our teams succeed and develop professionally.” SMC is undergoing an interview process to fill the roles of the previous head and assistant strength coaches, “The graduate interns and I have covered the teams that were assigned to the other coaches” he stated.
While the Power Plant continues to find roles for their head coach positions, the facility also continues to develop for the better. Students can look forward to having a safer environment to be working out in as well as enhanced equipment. “Students are always welcome in the power plant, which opens in the mornings,” stated Gregory, “When teams are lifting it can get really hectic. The best times for students to workout are from 8AM until 1PM and then after 6 in the evening.” The weight room is free and open to all students, faculty, and staff. The official SMC student hours are posted below.
Power Plant Hours:
Varsity Team Open Hours: 6am-6pm
Men’s Home Basketball Games: CLOSED