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A fit opening for Colgate's new fitness center

By Mark Walden on January 28, 2011

Trudy Fitness CenterThe wait is over. Thanks to the hard work of staff and contractors, with generous support from alumni and parents, Colgate’s Trudy Fitness Center will open at 6 a.m. this Monday, January 31.


Located in front of Lineberry Natatorium and next to Huntington Gymnasium, the 14,825 square-foot facility is almost three times as large as the Wm. Brian Little Fitness Center, where students have worked out for almost two decades.

Trudy’s groundbreaking took place last March, and by July, a webcam was broadcasting construction play-by-play to alumni and friends around the world. There was plenty to see as crews worked nonstop to have the structure “dried in” before the coldest winter months, to stay ahead of the weather, and keep to an ambitious production schedule.

While the masons did their part, campus personnel went shopping for a fleet of new equipment, which arrived the week of Jan. 17. The center’s first visitors will find 25 treadmills, 24 ellipticals, a dozen stationary bicycles, and several Precor adaptive motion trainers arrayed in front of floor-to-ceiling windows that run the length of the lodge-style second floor.

However they roll, fitness buffs will be able to review workout information and watch television programs on personal screens attached to their machines. The monitors can also be used to control the user’s iPod or access music playlists on a USB drive.

trudyweb.jpgNew Precor strength machines have been placed on the first floor. Whether their intention is to lift, curl, press, or pull, patrons can do so with urethane-coated weights and dumbbells emblazoned with the Colgate insignia.

“I’m excited to have new machines, and more machines,” said Hannah Schiewe ’12, who is just settling back into life on campus after a semester abroad. “I even managed to miss most of the construction,” she added.

Outside, the building’s position parallel to Lineberry creates a courtyard that will be planted with grass and shrubs this spring. By that time, finishing touches like cubbies and benches will be installed inside the university’s newest square footage.

The Trudy Fitness Center was funded primarily through a leadership gift from an alumnus who christened the building after a close relative. A sizable contribution from the family of Mark Buttitta ’74 helped purchase equipment and will completely renovate the Wm. Brian Little Fitness Center for use by varsity athletes.

Anonymous parents have provided funds that will be put toward future priorities. An endowment challenge leveled by the Jay ’76 and Debi Shaw family will garner resources for a Wellness Institute that will integrate the facility into the university’s student life programming.

“We want to draw in even more folks by making sure that the facility is user friendly and by accentuating the social aspects of fitness,” said Mark Thompson, director of counseling and psychological services.

The center is open to the campus community, and area residents can purchase membership. Anyone accessing the facility will need smartcard identification and, of course, clean footwear. For details, visit the Colgate athletics website.

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3 Comments



  • Lorie Riedl said:

    The Trudy is an incredible addition to Colgate. Thanks to all who made this a reality.




  • Erik Moore said:

    Opening day was a big hit! Lots of folks eagerly waiting in the hallway as it was a balmy 9 degrees outside. I was very impressed with the openness of the facility.




  • Vicky Stone said:

    A huge thank you to all the donors and everyone who worked to make this happen. I know the students are very excited about this. As a Colgate staff member who is a regular fitness center visitor, I am extremely excited about this new facility too. Thank you, thank you, thank you!