New look: Wellness Center re-opens

Fall quarter marks the official opening of the newly remodeled Wellness Center located in the school’s G building. Having finished renovations last August, the new center includes an expanded fitness space, separate men’s and women’s locker rooms, team rooms and treatment rooms for the college’s athletic programs, and shower facilities with three, single stall unisex restrooms. The G building is split mainly between the fitness center and the Wellness Center. The fitness center is available only to students through registering for the Life Fitness Training classes. The Wellness Center focuses specifically on activities in the outdoors.

Bellevue College has been going through a lot of renovations over the past few years. It’s all a part of the college’s “Master Plan” they unveiled in 2016, to expand and accommodate the ever-growing student population. Along with making renovations to the G building and the H building that make up the college’s student housing, there’s also the Student Success Center (later to be called the U building) that’s set to open Winter Quarter of 2020.

With the fitness center getting a nice makeover, a possible spike of interest among BC’s student body and faculty might be coming. The facility is available only to students through registering for the Life Fitness Training classes.

Peter Prescott, who has been teaching health classes at Bellevue College for 15 years, runs the facility. During his time at BC, Prescott has been helping make the outdoors a regular part of life on the Eastside.

One of the ways he’s been achieving that is through BC’s participation in the AORE Campus Challenge. It’s a national contest that takes 98 schools in the US with the goal to get as many students, faculty, and alumni to engage in outdoor activities. Many of these schools consist of NCAA Division 1 and 2 schools with notable names such as University of Arizona and Washington State.

“Right now we’re currently in 16th place,” said Prescott. “It’s fun community building.” The Wellness Center also holds events where students do things like overnight backpacking and mountain biking.

On a national level, obesity among college students has been on the rise. According to a 2016 study done by the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, the percentage of obese or overweight students rose from 23 percent to 41 percent. Prescott had some insight into this discovery. “It really comes down to lifestyle choices and lifestyle opportunities,” said Prescott. “We do a lot of outdoor recreation because it’s super accessible and we’re in the Pacific Northwest.” With the Wellness Center getting a facelift, things could get physical.