Within a five mile radius of Pierce College there are seven gyms spread across the South Hill and Puyallup areas. So the only problem you should have is weighing the pros and cons of each one.
L.A. Fitness, YMCA, Vision Quest, The Little Gym, Body Logic and Bally fitness, are all nearby. As for the seventh, it’s Pierce College’s own Health Education Center (HEC).
A little known fact about the HEC is that it is open during breaks when the college isn’t. During winter break the gym will remain open for a few weeks before closing because of low attendance and the cost of staff.
Even though the universal gym fee is tacked onto each student’s tuition, very few in proportion take advantage of it. According to Brian Kovacevich, gym participation has been steadily rising quarterly with around 400 to 500 users per quarter. The majority of these students go to the gym because a PE class requires them to. The rest of the users are made up of students or staff who works out independently. Students who work out independently must pay a $15 usage fee. PE classes however are covered in tuition. As for the $15 gym fee, it acts as additional motivation to work out.
“The gym fee is like a carrot, I’ve paid for it, and I’m going to use it,” Kovacevich said.
Due to the low rate of independent users, the HEC can sometimes seem like a personal gym, which is a very nice advantage against the overcrowded scene at most community gyms. So as long as you hold a dual membership at the “Y”, or one of the other five gyms this may be an opportunity to consider. Monday through Thursday gym use is pretty consistent but the same can’t be said of Fridays.
“Fridays average five to six people per hour, similar to participation over the breaks,” Kovacevich said.
Fridays at the HEC can be described in one word, desolate. The same word can be used to describe how the gym looks over winter break.
While the HEC is technically a community gym open to the public, someone who wants to use it must be enrolled in at least one class at Pierce.
Though the HEC has been sought out by advertisers like Super Supplements and others to sell energy drinks and represent their products, the HEC declined for reasons that further complicate its dual role of community and private college gym.
“We’re just a different institution than the community gyms,” Kovacevich said.
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