Finnegan Fieldhouse renovations nearly complete


With the opening of the second floor of Franciscan University’s Finnegan Fieldhouse, the campus gym’s renovations, with the exception of the Baron Lounge, are nearly finished.

Students have flooded in to take advantage of the new spaces and services offered in the renovated Fieldhouse. The fitness center focuses on mind, body and spirit.

“The numbers have been huge in comparison to what it was before the Fieldhouse expansion,” said Josh Wetmore, coordinator of media relations.

Before the renovation, about 50 students visited the fitness center per day. Now, “the fitness center averages around 180 students, staff and faculty a day,” Wetmore said.

Expanding Finnegan Fieldhouse was discussed for more than a decade but only in the past few years did the Fieldhouse become crowded enough that additions to the building were necessary.

The work began in May 2013, and the Fieldhouse was re-opened to the public in March 2014.

The Fieldhouse had its grand opening ceremony after the Opening of the School Year & Fall Athletic Commissioning Mass on August 31. Two priests, including Franciscan’s president, the Rev. Sean Sheridan, TOR, went through the entire Fieldhouse to bless it.

The ceremony was accompanied by a talk from fitness professional David Jack, who is also the co-founder of ActivPrayer. This program dedicates actions for an intention. Franciscan University personal trainers announced that they would be implementing ActivPrayer to revitalize and encourage exercise in the Fieldhouse gym.

Stephen Sammut, who holds a doctorate in neuroscience and is an associate professor of psychology at Franciscan, has been conducting a pilot study on how students are influenced by using ActivPrayer and how it compares to other groups. The study used DASS 21, a survey measuring negative emotions, and the Resilience scale, both of which were administered before and after a four-week period.

The data is still being put together, and Sammut hopes to have concrete results by the end of the semester. The preliminary analysis suggests that people using ActivPrayer showed the largest differences in scores.

Donors will be able to see what has been done with the Fieldhouse during the Baron Club Dinner in May 2015.

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