Grover Center provides different atmosphere than Ping for OU faculty, Athens residents

WellWorks, a gym located in Grover Center, is only available to staff, faculty and local Athens residents. (Photo by Kevin Pan)

Housed inside of Grover Center is a fitness center exclusive to Ohio University staff and Athens community members.

WellWorks is a College of Health Sciences and Professions initiative, so a majority of the student staff are CSHP majors, Jennifer Bennett, the director of WellWorks, said.

Unlike Ping Recreation Center, undergraduate students are not eligible for membership at WellWorks. Other services, like massage therapy and nutritional counseling are available to undergraduate students, Bennett said.

“It’s also nice because in the position I’m in, I’m pretty much always surrounded by students,” Scott Miller, a resident director, said. “I love it, but it is nice to have some separation there … which is why I prefer WellWorks over Ping.”

WellWorks is less expensive than Ping for staff and community members. A year-long membership at Ping costs $335 per year for adults and $275 for OU staff members, whereas WellWorks costs $175 per year with an approximate 50 percent discount for OU staff and their spouses.

The environments, however, are very different, Mark Ferguson, the executive director of Campus Recreation, said.

“I don’t view it as Ping versus WellWorks,” he said. “Our offerings are quite different. We have the same goal of creating a healthy campus and community members, including faculty, staff and students.”

Although WellWorks is relatively small, Bennett said it offers “basic, high quality” programming that is convenient and affordable for many faculty and staff members.

“A WellWorks membership includes access to our fitness center, featuring various cardio and weight machines as well as a variety of group fitness classes,” Bennett said in an email.

Many fitness classes take place in the newly renovated group fitness room.

“It’s pretty small, but it’s big enough for the people who use it,” Miller said. “They also just renovated their group fitness room where they have classes. It actually does look much nicer and more spacious.”

Though there are two options on campus for faculty and staff to choose from, both have the same end goal, Ferguson said.

“We are working for that common healthy campus,” he said.


Originally published for The Post on Jan. 30, 2017.


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