Johnson Center set to reopen, university officials show off upgrades

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s one of the oldest buildings at the University of New Mexico, now after a multi-million dollar renovation, Johnson Center is set to reopen in just a few days, but most people will not be able to take advantage of it yet.

After 18 months of construction, Johnson Center is the new hot spot on the UNM campus. “It creates a sense of pride among the students that currently go to UNM, says Director of Recreational Services Jim Todd.

On Monday, current students and faculty will get a glimpse of the $35 million renovations. Some of the new additions include an indoor track, cardio deck, weight, and cross-training rooms and spaces for group classes. “We’ve always been your typical recreation center with your cardio room, your weight room, your fitness studio but they were never adequate. Or were old and outdated and didn’t have new equipment,” Jim Todd.

The former home of Lobo basketball, now also has a dedicated outdoor adventure center. “Which has a full-service bicycle shop, outdoor equipment camping rental those types of facilities as well,” Todd says.

The newly renovated building is filled with modern state of the art fitness equipment. They’ve also managed to preserve the history of the building and incorporated the original facade from 1957. “They wanted to kind of keep some of the historical features of the old building and merge those with the new,” Todd says.

Even though gyms across the state have been opened for months now, university officials say they decided to hold off on reopening to reduce the number of people on campus. “The university thought it prudent to delay our opening until they were convinced that we were safe and could provide the proper safer protocols,” Todd says.

When Johnson does open on Monday, only the cardio and weightlifting areas will be open at a limited capacity. “Places like the gymnasiums where you have the potential for contact like basketball things like that we’re not opening those just yet,” Todd says.

Officials say high touch surfaces around the building are sanitized constantly throughout the day; people working out will be required to sanitize their machines after use. Students and faculty will be required to make a reservation to workout at Johnson.

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